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U-20 beat GPA in friendly, as they prepare for CAF U-20 championship

Jan 28, 2011, 11:05 AM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia national U-20 team on Wednesday edged out the Gambia Ports Authority by 3 goals to1 in a friendly game played at the Serrekunda East mini-Stadium as they intensify preparations ahead of the highly awaited CAF U-17 youth tournament in Tripoli, Libya.

Coach Lamin Sarr led his charges to an impressive 3-1 win to give Peter Bonu Johnson and his ferry boys a good test ahead of their first leg of the CAF club Champions league match against Jaraaf of Senegal in Dakar on Sunday.

The Darling Scorpions, who are set to take part in the forthcoming CAF U-20 youth championship to be hosted by the North African country in two months’ time, put themselves up with a fine opener when Steve Biko powerful striker Alasana Camara converted from a penalty spot fresh from break, following a goalless first half draw.

The ferry boys, as they are affectionately called, could have cancelled the lead but all their efforts were not good enough to earn them a happy moment.

As a result GPA received further punishment when Lamin Sarjo Samateh and substitute Buba Sama extended the U-20's lead with two world class goals, midway through the second half to complete an impressive scoring record for Lamin Sarr and his two assistants Abdoulie Bojang Bakau giant killers Steve Biko and Wallidan’s Foday Bah in a match of low turnout.

The GPA, who left the shores of the country for the CAF champions league on Wednesday, netted their only goal when substitute Alagie Fatajo converted from a penalty spot.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the game, Lamin Sarr, head coach of the U-20 team, took time to reveal some of his plans for the team before the start to the tournament.

One of Sarr's plans is to take the team to a two-week training camp in Tunisia to prepare the Darling Scorpions much better before the start of the Libya tournament.

Sarr, who began an intensive training programme with the 2007 Bronze Medalists three weeks ago, said he had already discussed the training camp with the GFA technical director, Kebba Ceesay, before he left for the CAF U-17 youth tournament in Rwanda.

"I have already discussed the training camp with my technical director before he left for Rwanda and we agreed to go into camp in Tunisia from the 1st to 15th March but nothing has been finalised as at now," Sarr told reporters at the Serrekunda East mini-Stadium.

Sarr was the coach who guided the Darling Scorpions to the Libya tournament at the expense of the much fancied Ivory Coast, with a 2-nil aggregate win in the final day of the qualifiers in Abidjan few months ago.

The famous coach said the reason for choosing Tunisia for the training camp at the expense of other countries, is because the climatic condition in that country is much more favourable for the team to square up with the condition in Libya, compared to other countries such as Egypt.

However, few of the foreign based players who have never had the opportunity of being part of the U-20 team’s qualifying campaign, such as Amadou Sanyang, Abdourahman Dampha and Ebrima Bojang, are all welcome to the squad, according to coach Sarr.

But he said he could not give the Gambian people the assurance that the players will be available.

"It is a national responsibility for anybody to play for your nation and anyone who is ready to represent your nation is mostly welcome but I coach Lamin Sarr will never compel anybody to come and play for your country," he said, adding: "It is left for you to decide weather to come or not."

Coach Sarr, who spoke to our reporter on Wednesday, said the foreign-based stars are expected to fly into the county to link up with the local based players, from 15 to 20 February 2011.