Coach Saintfiet calls up 23 players for Comoros training camp

Aug 27, 2021, 11:06 AM

Scorpions Coach Tom Saintfiet has called up 23 players for the team’s upcoming training camp in Comoros, where they are scheduled to play two international friendly matches.

The camp holds from August 30 to September 8, 2021.

The headline news is that after having pulled out in previous selections at the eleventh hour due to different circumstances, there hope that FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk striker Dembo Darboe will finally make his Scorpions debut.

 He scored 16 goals in 17 matches, this season, to lead his Belarusian premier league side to the top of the table with 47 points, three ahead of second place BATE Borisov, even though the leaders played three games less because of their involvement in the UEFA Champions League playoffs.

Darboe is also the leading goal scorer of the league, six ahead of his nearest challenger, Ablaye Mbengue, of Dinamo Minsk.

Since turning professional in 2019 with North Macedonian club FC Shkupi, Darboe has played in 58 matches and scored 34 times, the latest been the solo goal he scored in Shakhtyor’s 4-0 thrashing of Slavia-Mozyri at the weekend.

He collected the ball in his own half and ran through the entire length of the field before rounding the keeper to score his side’s third of the game in the 66th minute of the match.

Star midfielder Sulayman Marreh is out injured and so too is left-back Omar Gaye, with the latter expected to be out for at least six months.

Gaye made an impressive appearance in the last training camp in Turkey and many expected him to be in the plane to Cameroon but with this lengthy layoff, his participation in Gambia’s maiden African Cup of Nations is now in jeopardy.

 The duo is replaced by England based duo Ebou Adams and Ibou Touray, who are both making a return to the Scorpions fold following long absences.

Noah Sonko-Sundberg and Maudo Jarjue (Chuka) have both recovered from their respective injuries that ruled them out of the June camp and are back in the team as well as Abdoulie Sanyang, Bubacarr Jobe and Lamin Jallow who just moved to Fehevar of Hungary.

AS Roma’s teenage sensation Ebrima Darboe, James Gomez and Leon Guwara all impressed in their debut call-ups and have retained their places while Sampdoria’s Omar Colley will continue to captain the side in the absence of regular skipper Pa Modou Jagne.

Guwara now plays for Jahn Regensburg in the German Bundesliga 2 and they currently top the rankings with a maximum 12 points from four matches.

Muhammed Badamosi has just returned to full fitness after injury and the Saint has decided against calling him up this time to allow him get into shape at his club FC Kortrijk, while Hamza Barry remained a notable absentee as he works towards regaining his full fitness following a long injury layoff.

The other notable absentee is Modou Barrow who has also returned to fitness after injury but was left out as he attempts to engineer a move away from South Korea before the end of the transfer window in order to secure his AFCON spot.

The Belgian will prepare his team technically ahead of next year’s continental showpiece event and as a result will first play against The Pirates of Seychelles, ranked 199 in the world, on 4th September before facing off against The Coelacanths of Comoros, three days later on 7th.

“Due to the current World Cup qualification [in Africa, where most of the bigger nations are involved], we can only play against teams who are out of that qualification,” the Belgian told www.gambiaff.org.

“Comoros qualified just like us for the first time for AFCON.

They have their players playing all in Europe, in top leagues in Holland, Belgium, Serbia, England and France. They are 133 on the current FIFA ranking, we are currently 147.”


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