28 February 2013

Gambia: Dawda Bah Hopes to Bounce Back

Gambian international Dawda Bah is hoping that he will bounce back following his release by German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg after only 17 minutes of competitive action in his injury-ravaged one and half years with the team.

Observer Sports last month reported that the former Banjul Hawks player's nightmare with the German strugglers came to a premature end when the club announced they have rescinded the contract of the 29-year-old. FAC announced the development at the end of January by confirming that the two parties have gone their separate ways after a marriage that failed to live to its pre hype billing.

The financial details of the agreement have not been agreed. Bah's contract was due to run until the end of the current season after signing a two-year contract with HJK Helsinki in the summer of 2011 for nearly (GMD9,000,000) nine million Gambian Dalasi, but he can now start looking for a new club on a bosman free transfer.

Injuries hampered Augsburg process

Dawda Bah joined the German premier league side in August 2011 from record Finnish Veikkausliiga champions HJK Helsinki. He caught the attention of the then newly promoted side after two spirited performances against Schalke 04 over two legs in the qualifying series of the UEFA Europa League.

But the Gambian international had only made a single official appearance for the club when he made a brief cameo in his first and only game against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. After seventeen minutes of action in early September 2011, he pulled out of training a couple of days later after a patella fracture and was initially sidelined for six months after undergoing surgery.

Bah suffered a relapse during rehabilitation and the road has always been bumpy for him. He only just returned to full fitness in the middle of the first half of the European season but was yet to make a competitive game for the team until his release.

Punished for late showing at a training camp

Bah was hopeful of cementing a first team place in the team as they fight to avoid the drop but with head coach Mark Weinzierl already renouncing his services, Bah's cause was not helped by the fact that he was suspended for his late arrival in training.

His falling out with the coach came during a mini preseason camp in Turkey when they were preparing for the resumption of the second half of the season earlier this month. Bah courted controversy after arriving late for practice with Zimbabwean player Knowledge Musona.

"For the players, it's better if they can go to another club where they can earn playing time. Dawda's cause (was not helped) and we only wished him the best for the future," Augsburg CEO Stefan Reuter was quoted saying by the Augsburger Allgemeine.

Following his release, the former KPV Kokkola midfielder trained with Serbian premier league side vojvodina with the hope of securing a permanent transfer but The Gambian is now back in town and played an hour of football for the first time in over one year eight months. And speaking for the first time since his departure from Germany, Bah told Observer Sports that the only thing on his mind is to regain his fitness soon.

"This is the first time that I am playing 50 minutes of football in one year eight months so the important thing for me is to get my fitness back step by step. I just try to get some match fitness but I think it is okay," he said.

Commenting on his injury ravaged stint with the German side, Bah said:

"It is because of injury and there is nothing that you can do about that and it can happen to any player. I just have to take it in a positive way and try to accept it and make life easier for myself but I hope to bounce back with another team."

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