18 January 2013

Gambia: Sam Jammeh, Gambia's Newly Discovered Safe Pair of Hands

Newly capped Sam Jammeh is the latest young talent lined up to boost The Gambia's current and future campaign World Cup and African Nation's Cup qualifiers, if his current form is anything to go by.

Sam 21, is a Gambian - Finnish, and son of Lamin Jammeh of Bakau, who now resides in Finland where Sam was born and now plays for first division side FC Viikingit, where his safe pair of hands guided the team to a strong third place finish last season. The lad broke into first team duty and recorded a nine match clean sheet in the 17 matches he played last season and perhaps helped his team immensely to win 13 of them.

Though he was visiting The Gambia for the fourth time, it was during this trip that young Sam began the journey to fulfil his dream- playing for his fathers' native Gambia. He won his first cap for the national team, playing against Brikama Zonal squad in December and came out ever determined to keep his national flag flying.

"I have always yearned to play for the Gambia and am thrilled to have the opportunity in Brikama that day. I have since been training with the team, both when all the professionals were here and with the local boys," said Sam, who is about to fly back for pre- season training. "To wear the Gambian jersey and hear the national anthem played to me was a great feeling. I have never felt that way in football or in my life. It was something special for me," he added.

So with such great passion to contribute to Father- land dearest, Sam talked more about his affection to The Gambia with emotion. "My father comes from Bakau. He is Lamin Jammeh and my Mum, well she is Finish, aToubab',' Sam laughed as he painted his mix- race identity.

He said his love for football started since the day his dad bought him a ball when he was very young. "I have never look back and played right through to the professional team of Viikingit after a time in the reserve team. In fact I started playing at the age of four. FC Viikingit is one of the giants in Finland and only a few years ago we won the league and last year we ended the season at third place. I have a great time at the club and am the first (choice) keeper or perhaps the first player to successfully complete the transition from the youth team to the first team," he said.

On his parting note, Sam said he would always be available for the services of the Gambia as he has seen very good talents in the country and believed that this state of affairs is promising. Anytime the Gambia needs him he added, he will be the first player to arrive and that is for sure. Asked on his feelings about the country, he said: "Well I enjoyed my time. Before the match in Brikama, I was unknown but not anymore. There has been big difference since then because now many people know me," he said.

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