Gambia/Morocco: Coach Tom Saintfiet Calls Up 26 Players for Morocco Training Camp

1 October 2021

Coach Tom Saintfiet has called up a strong 26-man squad that will represent The Gambia in a training camp and test matches in El Jadida, a major port city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

Located 100 kilo metres south of the country's economic hub, Casablanca, the city will host the Scorpions from October 4 to 12 in the upcoming FIFA international window.

The camp is part of the Scorpions technical preparations ahead of its maiden AFCON appearance in Cameroon in January next year with test matches against Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Morocco's CHAN team.

The headline news this time is that after several attempts in the past, Saidy Janko has finally decided to represent The Gambia as a full international and the former Switzerland youth player has made the team.

The ex-Manchester United, FC Porto and St. Etienne right-back has represented Switzerland at U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 level and the current Real Valladolid defender's inclusion will avail the Saint more options in the right side of his back four.

"We have been working on this for two years, so I'm very happy with the addition of Saidy Janko.

He had already agreed a while ago [but] I knew that he would skip September. But now we are really looking forward to it.

He is a quality player; a top player and it's nice to have him as part of our team," Saintfiet told www.gambiaff.org.

Abdoulie Sanyang, Ebrima Colley and Hamza Barry all missed out due to injuries.

Barry has been out for nearly a year now following a serious injury but has started training in his attempts to regain full fitness.

However, there is also a place in the team for Sheriff Sinyan of Molde while Sulayman Marreh and Muhammed Badamosi both returning to full fitness to be included.

Maudo Jarjue, who was part of the last aborted camp squad is again included by the Belgian as well as England based duo of Ibou Touray and Ebou Adams.

Another notable returnee is Modou Barrow who requested permission to miss the September window as he attempted to engineer a move away from Jeonbok Hyundai Motors.

However, the former Swansea City and Leeds United winger remains in the books of the South Korean champions.

The Scorpions will begin their test matches with a training encounter against Morocco's CHAN Team who earlier this year won the African version of the senior national team comprising locally based players on 7th October before playing their official international with a meeting against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone two days later.

Sierra Leone is 108 on the FIFA Rankings, 41 places above The Gambia on the global standings and have qualified for their first AFCON in 25 years.

The Leone Stars defeated Benin to book their place in Cameroon but the highlight of their qualification campaign is drawing twice with the favorites Super Eagles of Nigeria, including having come from four goals down to tie 4-4 in Abuja.

The third and final match will see the AFCON debutants face off against the Bright Stars of South Sudan on 12 October.

Though South Sudan failed to qualify for the AFCON, they had a promising campaign including a 1-0 defeat of Uganda.

As a sign of their growing pedigree in African football, the country recently appointed the much-travelled Italian Stefano Cusin as coach.

Source: GFF

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