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Tapha Manneh appointed U-20 coach

Mar 20, 2014, 10:17 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Mustapha Manneh, head coach of Gamtel FC, was yesterday 19 March 2014 unveiled as the head coach of the Gambia National U-20 team to take the team through the qualifying campaign.

Tapha Manneh will be assisted by Abdoulie Bojang, head coach of Steve Biko FC, and Jaine Joof, head coach of Samger FC, as first and second assistants respectively, with Alagie Marong as goalkeeper trainer.

This was disclosed to reporters by Ebrima Manneh, Technical Director of GFF, at a media conference held at the GFF Secretarial yesterday while briefing journalists on the preparation of the Gambia U-20 team ahead of their first leg 2015 Africa Youth Championship qualifier against Liberia in Monrovia on 6 April 2014.

Manneh also revealed that Abdoulie Bojang, head coach of Steve Biko FC, has been appointed as head coach of the U-17 National team.

The U-17 screening is scheduled for 24 March as they do not want to be surprised by CAF again moving the June match to early May, he added.

Looking at the resources available to have it in The Gambia, they want to engage Tapha Manneh and Abdoulie Bojang on full time basis with the FA.

“Football, in my opinion, at the domestic level will suffer if they appoint the coaches on a permanent basis looking at the pool of coaches we have in the country,” he observed, saying they identified, shortlisted and suggested these coaches to the Ministry on a permanent basis for the period of the qualifiers and the tournament.

For the coaches to deliver they believe they should be well-motivated, he remarked, noting that they have also set targets and goals for the coaches to achieve.

Football is not voluntary anymore, he observes.

Ebrima Manneh, Technical Director of the GFF, in disclosing the appointment of coaches and the goalkeeper trainer, described Alagie Marong, goalkeeper trainer as the most successful goalkeeper trainer in The Gambia.

What is needed in the national teams is success, he went on, saying Mustapha Manneh has been very successful and Abdoulie Bojang very resourceful with youth football.

He said initially they sought the voluntary services of Mustapha Manneh, Abdoulie Bojang and Alagie Marong to recruit and screen the list of players they initially selected and to come up with a 30-man squad for the provisional list of CAF registration.

Now that the qualifier will take place on 6 April 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia, they have contacted their partners, the Ministry of Youth and Sports through the National Sports Council and forwarded the letter that was discussed by the technical committee for the recommended coaches, who will take the team through qualifying round, Manneh also said.

As the date for the first leg draws closer they thought it wise to give authority to the coaches despite waiting on a reply from their partners, he added.The coaches decided they wanted to have two test games with local national teams on Wednesday and with Casa Sport on Saturday, he stated, adding that they have agreed with the request of the coaches.

Technical Director Manneh noted that they intend to get the team camped for five days before travelling to Monrovia, for the first leg of the qualifier.

During the recruitment of players they also contacted seven foreign based players - Kekuta Manneh in America, Saloum Faal and Bakary Daffeh both of Casa Sport in Senegal, Bamza Barry in Malta, Sulayman Marreh in Spain, Ali Sowe in Italy and goalkeeper Bubacarr Sanyang in Liberia.Unfortunately, he disclosed, Kekuta Manneh has sustained injury and will not be available.

The other players have shown interest in playing for The Gambia, he said, adding that they have written to the Ministry for the ticketing of the 6 foreign based players so they could arrive on time to join the other players identified by the coaches.

They hope the team will do well after being absent in the competition for two editions, he noted, saying the team also face a disadvantage of playing its home games on away soil.

The team was playing home because we were doing well in previous competitions, he added.

Musa Njie, a member of the technical officials, said he was part and parcel of the identification of players prior to the submission of the list to the coaching staff.

He emphasised the importance attach to the team by the GFF, adding that, they have realized that we have very good players in the U-20 which is why the GFF gave it their best to nurture this players for the upward mobility to the senior national team.

“These are players we are also banking on to progress to the senior national team,” he noted, saying the appointment of the head coach was a democratic process as coaches were listed and the ones appointed came out distinguishingly based on their achievements in football for the past couple of years.

He therefore took the opportunity to congratulate the coaches, adding that they have been given voluntary services and saw their appointment as prudent for them to do more.

They will give the coaches their best support, experience and advise when the need arises, he stated, adding that the FA, the Ministry and the NSC will do their best in ensuring the team reach higher heights and bringing success to The Gambia.

Mustapha Manneh, head coach of the U-20, said they have done the final selection of players and submitted the list last Friday, which was well accepted, adding that they have started normal training for the qualifiers.

Tapha Manneh stated that he does not know much about Liberia but as football is concerned, West African football is more or less the same.

“When you value Gambian football, I think we are a little bit above Liberia in terms of football statistics,” he remarked.

The list of 25 players selected is as follows: Bubacarr Trawally - Real De Banjul FC, Yusupha Sarr - Young Africans FC, Buba Sanneh - Real De Banjul FC, Sampier Mendy - Gamtel FC, Mass Manga - Hawks FC, Ebrima Tunkara - Steve Biko FC, Saikou Conteh - Steve Biko FC, Musa Touray - Steve Biko FC, Bully Drammeh - Brikama United, Famara Jarju - Real De Banjul FC, Ebou Kanteh - Brikama United, Alieu Jatta - Brikama United, Lamin Jallow - Real De Banjul FC, Salifu Krubally - Real De Banjul FC, Madi Fatty - Real De Banjul FC, Yusupha Bobb - Hawks FC, Edrisa Badjie - Interior FC, Musa Bangura - Hawks FC, Lamin Kanteh - Interior FC, Abdoulie Bah - GPA FC, Sulayman Saho - Brikama United, Assan Njie - Samger FC, Ebrima Sanyang - Interior FC, Modou Badjie - Samger FC and Bakery Njie - Wallidan FC.