Monday, June 17, 2024

We Didn’t Play As We Wanted,” Tom Defends Selection of Club-less Player

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

The head coach of the Gambia National Team, Tom Saintfiet, has defended his selection of clubless player Sulayman Marr and long-term absentee Yusupha Bobb, stating that he chose experience over young players because his team has not been playing the way he wanted in recent games.

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Speaking to the media in Jeddah, Tom said he could have picked young and inexperienced players who are playing regularly for their respective clubs but opted for players with experience for a more profound understanding of his game. These players include Sulayman Marr, who is without a club, Yusupha Bobb, who has been without a club for over a year and recently signed for a second-tier club in Morocco, and Ebrima Darboe.

“I could have selected young players who are playing regularly with small experience and yet to play for us, but I decided to go for players with experience who have not played much. Yusupha Bobb played four out of eight qualifiers in AFCON 2021. Sulayman Marr was part of this qualification, and Ebrima Darboe played five out of the eight qualifiers. In the last twelve months, we didn’t play as we wanted, so this is the reason these players are back with us because of their experience,” Tom said.

According to Tom, he is yet to publicly announce his squad because he wants to surprise his opponents to weaken them.

“I did not want to reveal my squad because I wanted to surprise our opponents to be more dangerous,” he explained.

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The Gambia national team is currently in Jeddah for some technical preparations ahead of their departure to the Ivory Coast on the 10th of January.

The Scorpions will face neighboring Senegal on the 15th in the first-ever SeneGambia derby in the senior Africa Cup of Nations.

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