Fatou Sonko: Gambian woman foreign-based player excelling in Football

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Fatou Sonko

By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh

The Queen Scorpions will no longer worry about the replacement for Adama Tamba, who for years dominated Gambian women’s Football.

Many thought her move to France would have come earlier, but the Gambia continues to produce elite female players who have gone through the system comprising school football and U17 to the national team.

Catherine Jatta and Kaddy Jarju are among many women footballers the country has and continue to produce. Within them, you have the category of Mam Drammeh and Fatou Sonko, also making the striking department one of the most competitive to break into.

Male Football has been dominant, with most players turning into elite professionals. Now, Gambia women’s football has taken a new dimension, and captain Penda Bah told the Alkamba Times it’s long overdue.

” This is an outstanding achievement for women’s Football, especially in the Gambia. We need more exposure; we don’t have any assistance in selling and marketing female players. We are only focused on male players. Recently few opportunities have been knocking on our doors, and we are capitalizing on them; it might not be huge as expected, but it’s far better than where we are coming from.”

” The level of the league and the standard are far different; the qualities cannot even be the same. This is very good for us. It will be even better when we have more of us going out. To experience different angles, we aim for high and work hard to be more professionals,” the young professional told TAT Sports.

Senegal has the highest number of Gambian foreign-based players (6), Nigeria (3), and Liberia (2). Ten years ago, this number wasn’t possible.

The Gambia female president and GFF fourth president Jainaba Cham are buoyant that many female players will turn professional as she is pleased to achieve this success in her tenure.

“Women’s Football is developing in the Gambia, compared to before. Right now, we have 14 professional female players. It’s a plus for Gambian Football because we have never had it before. We are expecting more players to move abroad, like Ghana. It’s an extensive development being its first kind. Before, we only saw male players moving; therefore, this shows you a trend that women’s Football is developing.”

” We are happy about this giant step; it will help the national team equally, in terms of quality because previously, the national team only consisted of local players. Right now, if we think we have professionals outside.”

Mbassey Darboe’s (Determined Girls) stats read seven league goals and 14 assists, Mam Drammeh’s (Dakar Sacre Coeur) four goals, six assists, and Fatou Sonko’s 12 games, ten goals & 6 assists. She failed only to score on match days One and Nine but assisted in both games. Known for her pace, the tricky left-footed strike can also play on the wings.

Sirènes Jappo is counting on Fatou Sonko to dethrone Dakar Sacre Coeur for the league title; the Guediawaye-based club last won in 2007. Sonko, whose side is trailing Dakar Sacre Cover by two points, scored the defending champions in a game that ended 2-1.

Joined on loan from Police FC, Sonko already feels the difference in women’s Football across her neighbors.

“In Senegal, I have seen lots of difference. The training is quite different, and it’s tough. I play more football here than before, and I am truly living the game”.

Sonko is a national team member and rose from the ranks of U17 and U20 before making her debut for the Queen Scorpions.

Known for goalscoring, she won the school tournament Golden Boot award with Battrop and Police FC in the 2021/22 season, scoring 12 goals. The Gambian international currently sits third on the chart.

“As a striker, if you want to make the headlines, you have to keep scoring, and the art of scoring makes me happy; more goals are ahead. I am aiming high because here is not my target,” She added

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