Gambian defender Omar Colley's first and only season in helping Real de Banjul secure its first league title in almost half a decade has yielded him instant benefit, as he has now signed his first professional contract with Finnish premier league side KuPS.
The former Banjul Wallidan left-back secured an initial two-year contract that will tie him at the Savon Sanomat Areena until the end of the 2014 Scandinavian football season. During his time at Wallidan, he madeefforts to secure a club in Europe and North America, which were unsuccessful.
Speaking to the press during his unveiling by the team, Colley who has gone straight into the first team but yet to be assigned a squad number said his first professional contract couldn't have come at a better time for him. "A professional contract has been my dream. KuPS is a good team and a technical side with a high class training method," the former Gambia U-17, U-20 and U-23 player who will share dressing rooms with Ebrima Sohna at KuPS said afterwards.
Finland has proved to be an attractive place for Gambian footballers recently. Dawda Bah became the first to ply his trade there when he signed for second-tier KPV Kokkola from Hawks in 2005. His success and subsequent recruitment by Finland's most successful club HJK Helsinki saw other players follow suit, among them Demba Savage, Abdoulie 'Paco' Corr, Habib Kunta and Demba Sanyang. All have played for KPV in the past. Savage is now with HJK after arriving from Honka while Ebrima Sohna at KuPS and Sarja Leigh have both dressed up for Finnish sides.
About KuPS from wikipedia
Kuopion Palloseura (or KuPS) is a Finnish football club, based in the 8th most populated city of Finland, Kuopio. KuPS play in Finland's Premier League, Veikausliiga. The team play its home matches at Savon Sanomat Areena. Until June 2005, KuPS used to play at an aged track and field stadium in Vainolanniemi, which is said to be one of the most beautiful sporting places in Finland. VÃ¤inölÃ¤nniemi is a cape surrounded by a local lake, Kallavesi.
KuPS hold the Finnish club record of the most consecutive seasons in the top flight, from 1949 to 1992. The team is placed fourth in the all-time Finnish premier league honour table.