FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

Gambia: 'I Want to Excel in Italy' - Ali Sowe

Gambian international, Ali Sowe targets to make a name in the Serie A after a sensational move to Chievo Verona from local club Gamtel. The forward was tapped by Chievo during a Gambian U-19 match last summer before joining the Italian side seven months later on an undisclosed deal subject to FIFA clearance. After troubles of acclimatizing with the snow-crazed European weather, the young goal asset is looking to stamp his way out in the limelight in the elite league, after having made his official club debut two weeks ago.

"I want to make a name for myself in the Serie A [in Italy]. I thank God for giving me this opportunity and I felt really great playing my first game last week," the ex- Gamtel attacker, whose rambunctious transfer stole the headlines, told Foroyaa Sport from his base in Chievolast weekend. The prospect of plying his trade in one of Europe's top four highly favoured leagues did not itch the young player's mind a month prior to the departure of Gambia's U-19 to the 8-team youth championship in Umbria, Italy. But when an offer from the 'flying donkeys' was slapped on Gamtel's desk, like many an excited teenager, it was dream come true for Ali Sowe and it took weeks for a deal to be reached, amid protracted talks over a fee agreement.

"I was excited when I first heard an offer has been placed to have me been signed and join the Italian Serie A. I was told I will be playing in the reserve team," said Sowe, who netted seven times in the 2011 season for the telecommunication side, recalling his first impression when news of a prospective deal broke out. His eight minute debut, climbing off the bench, fetes Sowe as the first Gambian to appear in the Italian top flight - a country whose vast array of football talents make the numbers in semi- professional leagues in the Scandinavia hemisphere. "I felt good being the first Gambian to play in the Serie A but there are other [Gambian players] still capable of making similar progress," said the soft-spoken Ali. Sowe made his second outing to make a fifteen minute show on Sunday for the Cake-manufacturing sponsored club before a fifteen thousand turnout of supporters at the Stadio Atleti Azzuri D' Italia against host Atlanta -the league final game. On his aims for a permanent place in Chievo Verona's squad come next season, he said "Yeah, as a player I am always confident of myself and I'm just counting on the chances that I'm having in the field."

Chievo finished the league 12th in the 20-team league -two below their 10th place season before.

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