By Lamin Fadera
The coach of the Gambia National U23 team is currently leading new efforts on rebuilding the youth team following the defeat to Burkina Faso, three goals to two on aggregate in the qualifiers of the last year’s AFCON by recruiting and inviting new players to strengthen his squad.
Coach Abdou Jammeh recently invited 31 local base players to train with the national U23 team with the hope of recruiting players for future competitions.
“The purpose of this training session is that we are trying to build a new team for the U23. As you know from the last qualifiers, we are already eliminated, so we are not training for any qualifiers. We want to build a new team for the next qualifiers 2024/25,” Former Scorpions skipper Jammeh told the Alkamba times sports.
Importance of the recruitment
Early recruitment is a key pinnacle for coaches to prepare teams and
Coach Abdou Jammeh said he wants to avoid repeating the same mistake the team faced in the previous qualifiers.
“It is important because I learned a lesson from the last qualifiers; we have a problem with the players’ selection and all those things. Because initially, when the preparation started, I was more prepared for the players, like 22 years.
You can see the players I invited; they are all 2002 born because I am always thinking of inviting players who have 21 years. After all, the last time, that was what affected us. After all, we prepared with players who were 2000 born, so after the last minute, they were not qualified to participate in the qualifiers.”
“So now we are scouting players that are 21 years and below; that’s why we are trying to build the team as quickly as possible before 2024 so we can be more ready.”
UEFA Pro License Badge assessment
The UEFA Pro Licence is the highest coaching certification available in Europe. Generally, it follows the completion of the ‘B’ and ‘A’ licenses.
A Pro Licence is required for anyone who wishes to manage a football club globally. This includes clubs in Europe.
Over the past years, Jammeh has been pursuing his UEFA Professional license badge. His instructor has worked with the Finland Football Association for over 20 years.
Mr. Kari Juhani is a coach instructor responsible for high-performance training, especially UEFA professional license.
He is currently in the Gambia to have first-hand information regarding his practical coaching session.
Coach Jammeh told Alkamba Times Sports that Kari Juhani’s presence in the Gambia is essential.
“The other part of the training, as you can see, my instructor is around, so he is here to assess the week we are training; this is part of my coaching training, and over the next few days, he will be here to watch every training session,” Jammeh said.
Mr. Kari Juhani, a UEFA instructor currently in the Gambia for a week’s mission to evaluate and support Abdou Jammeh in his quest to acquire a UEFA professional license.
“I am here in the Gambia to see first-hand information of how the coach does his training and practice. We need to guide and help the coaches do their job. We evaluate, guide, and support coaches doing UEFA Professional Licenses,” Juhani said.