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Winning Caf Award delights Gambia U-20 Defender

Apr 28, 2011, 3:03 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh in Johannesburg

The Gambia national U-20 team combative centre half Ebrima Camara said he felt great and honored at winning the Caf Samsung Mobile Fair Player of the match award.

The 20-year-old aggressive defender had a tremendous campaign for the Darling Scorpions and his outstanding showing during the Gambia’s heroic performance against Ghana earned him the man of the match award by the Confederation of African Football (Caf), something he described as a rare opportunity.

“I feel so grateful when I was told that I had won an award for being the man of the match but at the same time I felt sad because we didn’t win that game against Ghana,” added the former Gambia national U-17 team player, who has earned the admiration of a good number of football followers in South Africa despite The Gambia’s performance during a miserable campaign.

Speaking to Pointsport in an interview with this reporter few days after the team’s exit from the eight-team tournament at the Garden Court Hotel in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Camara said he was impressed with the performance of the U-20 team even though they could not avoid an early exit in the continental youth championship.

He is one of the few Gambian players that are attracting interest from European scouts but said he is not open to any negotiation until his club gives him the green light to do so, considering the fact that he is under contract with a Swedish club for another two years.

“There are three scouts that have expressed interest in me but I did not give them any room for negotiation because I need to contact my club before discussing any contract negotiation with any scout,” said the rocky Gambian defender.

He is eyeing a move to either France or Spain but did not rule out the prospect of switching to the English Premiership if the opportunity arises.

Despite the team’s poor showing, which saw them fail to win any game during a fatigue campaign, Camara, who plays his professional football with Gunnilse FC in the Swedish second tier, remains committed to the service of the country and has vowed to maintain allegiance to his country of birth, The Gambia.

With his outstanding performance in South Africa, Camara might be considered for selection as The Gambia’s senior Scorpions coach Paul Put continues his quest to bring in more committed players to boost his weak squad as the Caf African Nations Cup qualifiers resumes in a few months’ time.

Camara said he is open for senior national team commitment if he is invited by Coach Paul Put.

He moved to Sweden in 2008 to sign a B team contract with Gais FC in the second division.

With his contract with Gais expired last season, Camara failed to commit his future with Gais FC and instead opted to switch allegiance to another division two side called Gunnilse in the same league.

Camara seized the interview opportunity to extend thanks and appreciation to the Gambian people for their support despite all the odds in their way of making it in the Caf Youth Championship.