Johnny unveils youthful maiden squad for WC qualifiers

Jonathan Mcknistry photo by Abu studio

The newly appointed gaffer of the Gambia national team, Johnathan McKinstry has announced his maiden Scorpions squad ahead of double World Cup qualifiers against Seychelles and Gabon on June 8 and 11, respectively.

The Irish International with a recognised background in youth development has named a youthful squad, including a debut call for four previous Gambia U20 players with a mixture of some good experienced performers.  

Sainey Sanyang of CSKA Sofia, Dembo Saidykhan of Whitecaps II, Edrisa Ceesay of ASC Jaraaf, and Adama Bojang of Stade Reims all of whom were previously representing the country at the U20 level have earned their maiden call-up to the national team.

This surprising, but significant move towards building a competitive team around youth players has been also inspired by the considerable number of injuries currently faced by some common names in the team.

Among the notable absentees due to injuries or personal reasons are; Ibou Touray, Jacob Mendy, James Gomez, Noah Sonko, Ebrima Darboe, Hamza Barry, Ali Sowe, and Assan Ceesay.

Meanwhile, five players have received their debut call-ups as Sheikh Sibi and Ebrima Jarju both goalkeepers, Mahmudu Bajo, and Ebrima Juwara make their return to the team after missing out on the previous outings.


Ebrima Jarju — Paide

Sheikh Sibi — Virtus Verona

Modou Lamin Sarr — Lunds BK


Omar Colley — Besiktas

Sainey Sanyang — CSKA Sofia

Omar Gaye — Chieti FC

Muhammed Sanneh — Banik Ostrava

Edrisa Ceesay — ASC Jaraaf

Dembo Saidykhan — Whitecaps 2

Dadi Dodou Gaye — Strømsgodset


Ebou Adams — Derby County

Yusupha Bobb — KAC

Alasana Manneh — Odense BK

Mahmudu Bajo — Zeleziarne Podbrezova


Musa Barrow — Al-Taawoun FC

Muhammed Badamosi — Al-Hazem

Ablie Jallow — FC Metz

Ebrima Colley — Young Boys

Yankuba Minteh — Feyenoord

Musa Juwara — Vejle BK

Alieu Fadera — Genk

Abdoulie Sanyang — Grenoble Foot

Adama Sidibeh — St. Johnstone FC

Adama Bojang — Reims


Coach Johnny reiterated his and his backroom staff’s commitment to not compromising performance in the selection of the national team players in the future and that no player has a permanent place in the squad regardless of age and level.

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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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