Scorpions coach speaks on withdrawal, late arrival of players

Jun 2, 2022, 1:43 PM | Article By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

The head coach of the senior national football team of The Gambia, Tom Saintfeit has said they could not change the late arrival of players on camp and the withdrawal of players from the team’s training camp in Dubai over passport and injury issues.

The Belgian tactician, who guided the Scorpions to the pinnacle of African nation’s football, AFCON in Cameroon last year, explained that they have to manage with the situation on the ground ahead of the 2023 Ivory Coast AFCON qualifiers against South Sudan and Congo.

“It is a little bit sad that we lost three players in Hamza Barry, Dembo Darboe and Modou Barrow. These are three important players for the team,” he told The Fatou Network.

The players joined the camp piecemeal from different parts of the globe. However, the three players who were expected to play a part in the qualifiers could not even join them in Dubai where the team was expected to have all the needed time to prepare well.

“I would want us to have more days together so that we can have more tactical sessions. But this is out of my control. We have to work like that. We can’t change it. We will do what we can. We are going to make the best use of the situation using what we have”, Tom explained to The Fatu Network.

Withdrawal of Hamza Barry, Dembo Darboe and Modou Barrow

Many Gambian football fans hailed the inclusion of Hamza Barry on the 25-man list released by the head coach. The midfielder didn’t play a part in Tom Sainfeit’s side in the 2022 AFCON in Cameroon.

Earlier last week, the Gambia Football Federation announced that the midfielder would not join the team due to passport issues.

According to the head coach, Tom Sainfeit, they were not aware that Hamza would not be allowed to travel until last Thursday morning. He described it as a bit sad characterising Hamza as a very good player.

Dembo Darboe and Modou Barrow, both of whom are attackers also left the camp due to injuries. The duo played for the country in the AFCON in Cameroon.

” Dembo Darboe is injured and Modou Barrow contacted us and told us that he is injured,” Tom told TFN.

 Late arrival of players

Tom Sainfiet told The Fatu Network that the late arrival of players is out of his control. He said the late arrival is as a result of the teams that the players are playing for.

James Gomez, AC Horsen’s player of the season, Matar Ceesay, Nuha Marong and Bun Sanneh are expected to join the team in Senegal when the team arrives from Dubai.

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