Conteh pushing for promotion with EL Qanah


By Baboucarr Fallaboweh

Saikou Conteh’s seven goals in eight matches are the talk of the town.

The Gambian international is coming from a knee ligament injury and is hitting top form at the right time. Saikou was the only one to find the back of the net in El Qanah’s last three matches, scoring a brace against Asyut Petroleum and La Viena. He scored the lone goal against El Makasa. 


Canal SC is sitting in fifth on the league table with 23 points, nine points adrift of the leaders in the Egyptian Second division. 


This is the second time the former Steve Biko and Teungueth FC versatile wing player has scored seven goals in eight matches after achieving the same feat with Sekka El Hadid. 


Saikou, who played on the wings, scored two from the spot while five came from outside the box. “Diplo”, as he is fondly called, said these seven goals are more special because he is coming from an injury. He described the moment as enjoyable, returning from injury, playing well, and scoring. 


“When I was injured, I relaxed a lot and told myself that when I returned, I must give back to the team. The club did everything humanly possible for me while I was in the treatment room. I prepared myself, and I was doing personal training. I wasn’t rushed by the coach immediately, but I made my presence felt anytime I was brought in for the second half. The team started to struggle, and I was given a run of good times in the last three games, and I found the back of the net five times. The goals make you popular, but I am not stopping. I believe I can do more and am focusing on the future. I believe I can score more goals.” Saikou stressed


Saikou was the first Gambian to play in the Egyptian league and went on to make six appearances for El Mokawloon SC and Ismaily FC. He describes the Egyptian league as one of the best across Africa. 


“At Ismaily, I signed a four-year contract and parted ways because I was not having playing time and the team was having financial struggles. I went on loan, but El Qanah ended up signing me permanently to a three-year contract.” He revealed


“I was the only Gambian playing here previously; I played in the First league and the Second division.”

“We are learning a lot because the league is tough; it’s the best league in Africa. Your football and learning process developed. It’s different from Gambia or another country. Experience is good. Gambian football is growing, and Gambians are well known; everything is getting easier for us.”


“It has opened a gateway, and we are expecting lots of Gambians to come. The Egyptian League is one of the best, and it has representation in the national team. Anyone playing in Egypt, be it in the First or Second division, has the experience to help his country.” Saikou added


Four offers have already arrived for the Gambian, two within Egypt and two from Saudi Arabia. But El Qanah is hoping to hold on to their jewel as they push for promotion. 


It was only Ngine Faye Njie who became the first African-based player to play under Tom Saintfiet while he was playing for CasaSports. Alieu Jatta, Gibril Sillah, and Lamin Jarjou were all overlooked as Saikou sought to break the jinx with his latest with the national team dating back to 2015 under Bonus Johnson. 

“I don’t talk much about the national team; there are lots of players out there who want to play for the national team. It’s been a while since we’ve played there, but anytime they call us, we are available to play for the Scorpions. It’s a dream for every player to be called up to the national team setup. If it doesn’t come, we will continue with our careers. We are cheering up the national team,” he concluded.

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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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