By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Ahead of the Gambia’s historic final in the U20 AFCON against neighbours Senegal, dubbed the Senegambia derby, head coach of the Gambia national U20 side, Abdoulie Bojang, has warned his charges to be wary of overconfidence going into the game but urged them to show respect and bring a smile to the faces of Gambians.
The young scorpions and the young Teranga lions will jostle for the continent’s prestigious U20 trophy in Egypt as both countries look forward to a maiden Africa U20 cup of nations trophy.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, coach Abdoulie Bojang said that his side would not be overconfident, noting that both sides knew each other.
“We should not be overconfident. That is the most important thing. It will be a derby game and we know each other,” he claimed.
The two sides, The Gambia and Senegal, faced each other twice in the WAFU U20 tournament. The Gambia won the first final but lost the second one to Senegal.
A game with pride as two neighbouring nations go head-to-head for the coveted trophy, the Gambian gaffer pointed out that his side has prepared for the game and will try to stop the free-scoring Senegal side from launching their attacks.
“We have a similar record. We are working on stopping where their service is coming from. We have to make sure that we stop that.”
In what will be the biggest game of his career as a coach and for the players too, the whole country is expected to cheer the young scorpions from wherever they will be watching the game. Coach Bojang is fully aware of this and has made his feelings clear that they want to set up their record and win the game for the country, thereby making the Gambians proud.
“The whole nation is behind the team. So, that is why we want to show respect to the game. We want to bring a smile to the face of every Gambian,” he pointed out.
The Gambia, despite some thrilling moments in the U20 category, has never won the competition at the continental level.
A win tomorrow against neighbours Senegal will see the country winning the competition for the first time in the country’s history.