Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FIFA U17 WWC-GAMBIA the underdog rookie

Gambia makes their first ever appearance at the world stage, in fact they have never qualified a women’s team for a major championship before, and they had never even entered a team in the U-17 preliminaries before so making it to the World Cup at the women's U17 level is a huge deal.

As rookies at this competition,Gambia is expected to be  at the mercy of France,USA and North Korea in Group B,who are all giants in their own right at this level.Perhaps coach Buba Jallow begs to differ when he stated that“[In Azerbaijan], we hope to have a respectable tournament. Hopefully it will be good exposure for our girls and perhaps provide them the opportunity to get to more advanced leagues.”

This world cup will indeed provide the Gambians the needed exposure but how they measure up against the big guns is yet to be seen.The Gambia femaleU-17 football team on Saturday,left the country for a 10-day international training camp in Morocco, before they  proceed to Baku, Azerbaijan for the World Cup later this month.

It is good news to hear that the Gambian FA has paid  allowances ($1000 per player,the highest ever paid to a team in the history of Gambian football) to the team as they embark on a training tour in Morocco and many are optimistic that the team will give a respectable performance at the world stage since all has been done to make the girls shine.

To see Gambia's women thrive in women's soccer is the dream of all who love the women's game on the continent, especially the young girls in Gambia who will stay glued to their TV sets as they support their country  from afar when the tournament kicks off on September 22nd in Baku.The 21 players representing Gambia are bent on giving their all for their country as they draw inspiration from Ghana and Nigeria who have become trail blazers for the African continent having made several world cup appearances at the women's U17 level.

Names like Penda Bah, Fatou Darboe and Adama Tamba are virtually unknown but these are skillful attacking players who pack enough fire power to pose problems for any defense and under coach Jallow's direction team Gambia will  live up to the words from the mouths of Marcel Mendy, the newly appointed Secretary General of GFA,Pa Suwareh Faye, acting director of Youth and Sports and the close to 2 million Gambians back home that they  " GIVE A RESPECTABLE PERFORMANCE" come kick off.

In the words of Amie Jarju, and Sainey Sissoho captain and vice captain of team Gambia ( Wollof slogan) ‘Dem beh Jehg’ meaning ‘We will go up to the end’, the girls assured that they will not let Gambians fans down. “Let Gambians not be scared and we are going out there to do our best because we will always have it in mind that our people are behind us.” 

Gambia play their first game against North Korea on September 22nd,in Baku.

Gambia’s squad.
1. Aminata Gaye, 1st goal keeper; 2. Mariama Ceesay, 2nd goal keeper; 3. Fatim Jawara, 3rd goal keeper; 4. Amie Jarju, captain; 5. Anna Nyassi; 6. Mariama Bojang; 7. Fatou Fatty; 8. Awa Demba; 9. Sirreh Jatta; 10. Binta Colley; 11. Fatou Darnoe; 12. Ndey Biyyaye; 13. Veronic Malak; 14. Fatou Gibba; 15. Adama Tamba; 16. Awa Tamba; 17. Mari Camara; 18. Isatou Jallow (Isatou Basse); 19. Meita Sanneh; 20. Penda Bah; and 21. Sainey Sissoho, vice captain.

Buba K. Jallow, head coach; Chorro Mbenga, Mariama Sowe (Bom), Alhagie Marong, goal keeper trainer; Kalipha Manneh, team doctor; Sainabou Cham, Physicio; Haddijatou Jatta, and Musa Njie, technical director, as kits manager.

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