Jun 28, 2010, 11:20 AM
Three Gambian professional players - Ebrima Camara from Sweden, United States MLS Star Omar Jasseh, and Alieu Darboe from the French Ligue 1 side, Le Mans - have joined The Gambia National U-20 camp as preparations for the weekend clash in the African U-20 qualifiers gather pace.
The Gambian side, progressed to the final stage of the qualifying campaign with a stunning 4-1 aggregate win over Sierra Leone a month ago, are set to host the Young Elephants of Ivory coast in what could be a titanic first-leg encounter at the country's biggest football arena this Saturday.
The team, under the guidance of local coach Lamin Sarr, who continues to prove doubters wrong with some positive results since taking the helm of affairs few months ago, went to camp last week with a total of 19 home-based players.
And their hope of achieving any positive result against their West African opponents has been boosted by the arrival of the foreign-based trio, who are expected to play their part in helping the team book a place in the last stage of the qualifiers.
The Gambia U-20 team, who could not qualify for last year's championship in Rwanda, is ever closer to berthing their place in the Libya championship for the second time in the country?s history at this level.
The team made a tremendous achievement and finished as 3rd best in Congo in 2007 in their first appearance but controversially missed out a place in the 2009 championship held in Rwanda under the stewardship of current coach Lamin Sarr, to the disappointment of the entire Gambian football fraternity.
Sarr, who was in charge at the time, has promised to pay for the lost glory by leading the team to yet another highly anticipated U-20 championship in Libya in 2011.
The Gambia's opponents Ivory Coast, who arrived in Banjul yesterday evening, are scheduled to go to camp at the Palm Beach Hotel in Kololi.