Bah and Darboe: The ideal centre back partnership taking GFF league by storm


Keep an eye on Team Rhinos center-back pair Mustapha Darboe and Momodou Bah, the GFF league ball-playing defenders.

When you talk about centre-backs nowadays, you talk about leadership, composure, ruthlessness, dominant bullying, aggression, and not losing yourself. In an era where football has evolved to scoring goals, having consistent central defenders is the ideal methodology for every coach and club.

One might wonder how Team Rhino FC made it to the Gambia’s First Division in such a short time despite not scoring a lot of goals.


Thanks to the defence partnership of Mamadou Bah and Mustapha Darboe. Both defenders can operate both on the left and right rear depending on the opponent. They are calm on the ball, go in for good tackles, they have tough mental fortitude and above all, they score goals.


Mamadou and Mustapha’s partnership holds the second-best clean sheet in the GFF league for the 2022–23 season.


Mamadou Bah made his way to the Gambia National U20 team that represented the Gambia at the Youth World Cup 2023 in Argentina and also scored for the National U23 team in qualifiers against Burkina Faso.


Mustapha Darboe has held 65% clean sheet since he joined the club. Team Rhino FC only conceded 1 goal in 7 games this season. On top of that, Mustapha found the back of the net in a win over Waa Banjul.


Many who have seen Mustapha’s current performance can attribute it to that of the time James Gomez was rising; his style is likened to that of Liverpool captain Van Dijk, and many argue it is more of the Sergio Ramos type.


Mustapha has lots of qualities; he is a complete leader with a great mentality and composure. He is versatile and plays comfortably as a right-back. He is a ball-playing defender with good buildup. Double-footed, agile, and fast; good in the air; 1v1; and long passes.

Mustapha Darboe

Just like his precedents, James Gomez, Alagie Saine, Dembo Saidykhan Mustapha Darboe and Lamarana Jallow are ready for the next step, especially with Mustapha who was sought by Steve Biko, Real de Banjul and Olso FA just before the season kickoff. Darboe is determined and hungry and is ranked as one of the top three Centre-Backs in the league.  


Darboe’s style of play suits Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland and France. While Momodou is adaptive, Scandinavian can be a great start to get himself up.  

The duo are natural winners, with Darboe winning five trophies with Bijankerr United and one with Serekunda East. Bah, who spent all his playing career with Rhino was voted as Team Rhino Player of the Year on two occasions and won the Third Division championship and silver medal with the Gambia U20. He holds the record of the youngest player to play for Team Rhino at the age of 15.    


As a young player playing in Gambia my target and dream is always to be professional playing in the top leagues in Europe. I know it comes with hard work and a lot of sacrifices, but I am ready for it and I am taking it step by step. Bah emphasized.


Darboe wants to follow in the footsteps of Bah by representing the Gambia U20 and, from there turn to a professional footballer in the future. If Darboe cuts with the U20 he will be Rhino’s fourth player to play in the junior category.

Mustapha averaged the most headed goals (4) out of center-backs in the GFF in the last 35 games.

One of the most accurate passers among CBs in the GFF this season – 92.68% which ranks him 1st this season.


Mustapha Darboe

DOB: 12/05/2006

Height 1.76 cm

Weight 67 kg  

2022/2023 season 28 games 18 clean 3 goals

2023/2024 season is ongoing 7 games 6 clean sheets 1 goal.  

Momodou Bah

DOB: 5/12/2003

Height 1.92 CM  

Weight 75 kg

2022/2023 season 15 games 1 (Due to engagement with U20)

2023/2024 season is ongoing 4 games 3 clean sheet

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Baboucarr Fallaboweh
Baboucarr Fallaboweh Sports Editor (Buba Jallow Fallaboweh) is a Gambian football expert, football analyst & columnist. The Stockholm-based Journalist is a media officer, football Scout, PR, Influencer and Digital creator. I started my journalism career as a football analyst in 2012 with Vibes FM and went on to work with CityLimit, West Coast, Hot FM, Freedom Radio, Eye Africa and Afri Radio as a content producer and presenter. In 2013, I attended Football Daily on the BBC SPORTS where we discussed the different styles of Football played in Africa. I Went on to freelance for The Point Newspaper, Freedom Newspaper, Daily Observer and Standard Newspaper before being appointed as Sports Editor with the Alkamba Times in March 2022.  I have worked for Magazines like Glo Magazine and Foot54 covering Gambian football and African Football.   Between 2020 -2021 I worked as a scout for the Gambia Football Federation, scouting talents for the U17 &U20.  From 2017 to 2021, I served as Media officer for GFF First division teams Team Rhino and Marimoo and also as media Officer of Banjul FC, fourth Division tier in Sweden and Darboe’s FC (Female second division club in the Gambia). I served as a PR for Superstars Academy.   With Afrencon, I was a data analyst before I joined LightHouse as a head scout for the Gambia project. In organizational structures, I served as the ambassador of the John Bass Kidney Foundation and one of the founders of the foundation creating kidney awareness in the Gambia.   I also served two positions in the Gambian organization in Sweden, as Sports chairman and the secretary of the associations.   After 12 years of being a football journalist, I was named 3rd best sports column writer in Africa year 2021 by the reputable sports media organization AIPS. I finished in the top 35 in the world with my article titled Back way: Gambian footballers in deadly Voyage to Europe.   With over 500 articles and interviews, analysis, profiling, features and news, I was shortlisted for the Gambia Press Union National Journalist Award 2022. I submitted the article which was co-written alongside Momodou Bah From Living Through Despair to Being An Agent Of Hope, The Inspiring Story Of John Bass.   I have served as an advisers to Football academies, clubs, and players and others. I have hosted dozens of shows and was invited as a guest on both radio, TV and the online press. I also covered the Gambia's maiden AFCON debut in 2021 in Cameroon.  


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