The assistant head coach of the Gambia national team has expressed delight at the good performance of the home-based players after their1-1 draw with Angola in an international friendly played in the Southern African on Saturday.
Peter Bonu Johnson was speaking to Observer Sports and West Coast Radio upon their arrival at the Banjul International Airport on Sunday night on board a chartered flight. He said it was a very difficult game but the boys fought hard to come home with a point. Bonu described the game as a good experience for the home-based players who he said played in the spirit of team work. "The Angolan team is a very good side but our team played very well," he said.
On what has been learned from the boys' performance, he said that if the home-based players are given the chance they can excel. "And the more they have friendly games, the more they build confidence and open more opportunities for them to become professionals," he added.
When asked the reason behind the Scorpions success despite playing over 75 minutes of the game with ten-men after Foday Saidy's sending off led to the Angola's penalty goal in the 13th minute, the assistant coach said the team respected their opponents and played as instructed. He used the opportunity to thank Gamtel for the friendly games.
Further asked if these home-based players will now form the national team, Bonu replied that it will be too early to conclude that, and said they will continue to work with both the professional and home-based players. He did not hesitate to thank the Angolan football authorities for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to them during their short stay in that country.
On their parts, Modou Jobe, goalkeeper; and goal-scorer Saloum Faal both described the friendly as a great experience for the players. They said it clearly indicates that if the local-based players are giving the opportunity, they can perform more than expectation.