Gambian fans react to the AfCON 2023 group stage draw

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By: Pa Barrow

Gambians have expressed their views as the Scorpions are drawn in the same group with neighbors Senegal, current African champions Cameroon, and Guinea Conakry in Group C in the continent’s highest football showpiece, the Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast, next year.

One concerned fan and a long-time follower of the Scorpions stated that the draw is a ‘tough one.’

“The Gambian team can make it out of the group with the number of talents and experienced players in our team. We can make it against any nation within the continent with the proper approach by the coaching staff,” the fan told Alkamba Times.

Another section of fans also expressed concern after the Scorpions were grouped in one of the most challenging groups in their second appearance in the African Cup of Nations.

Ebrima Ceesay, a Scorpions fan, said: “It is a tough draw for us. Our preparation and engagement after securing qualification cannot be compared to any of these countries. A typical example is the current international break.”

“Countries are busy on test matches to strengthen their teams, while for us, our players are busy on holidays because there is no test match or a camp for them ahead of the competition in a few months,” Ebrima told The Alkamba Times.

“This is one of the more interesting group stages overall in this upcoming Cup of Nations; looking at the group carefully, you will realize that it is the group of death because each of these four nations can qualify from the group,” Ebrima added.

“Gambia and Senegal will be the toughest game, and it will be a game before game because all the two nations will be playing for pride, and the two nations have already started the mockery on social media immediately after the draw and Guinea will be coming for a revenge after we eliminate them in round of 16 in last edition and in that I’m urging the coach to call in a strong team and play and attacking football if we want to make it out of the group,” Sulayman Drammeh, a Serrekunda East nawettan team coach, told Alkamba Times in an interview.

Babucarr Krubally (BB) is adamant and optimistic about the Gambia’s chances of making it from this group to qualify for the round of 16.

” I understand we are facing footballing solid nations within the continent, but with the right approach and better preparation, we go far despite being our second edition. We have young, dynamic players doing extremely well in their various clubs and, if the technical team did their homework well, can even finish on top of the group,’ he said.

The Gambia are looking to finish further than the last edition as they finished as the six best teams in their maiden edition in Cameroon during the 2021 edition.

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