By: Famara Badjie
Having served as an unused substitute during The Gambia’s first two matches in the Africa Cup of Nations, one of the Scorpions most outstanding tricky attackers Bubacarr ‘Steve’ Trawally has abandoned the team in Cameroon and returned to his club in UAE.
The Gambia Football Federation reports that the player claimed to have suffered an injury.
“The forward claimed of an ankle injury and did not train yesterday. He has returned to his club this morning for urgent treatment”, GFF wrote on their Facebook page.
This was shocking news for the football supporters in the Gambia many of whom were hoping that Steve will be one of the players the Gambia can count on during the AFCON championship.
Commenting on the issue, Steve said he was injured and it was his club Ajman Sports who demanded his return to receive treatments. The forward further expressed his emotions saying:
“Of course, it’s been always my dream to don the Scorpions jersey at a big tournament like the AFCON and this was supposed to be it but sadly, man proposes and God disposes. I’ll be away from the team physically but spiritually I’m with them as have been since day one”
Since the arrival of the Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet in The Gambia, Steve’s inclusion has been one of the heated points of contention when the coach initially ignored the tricky forward during the team selections.
This triggered widespread criticism, especially from the media. The coach in one of the press conferences responding to his decision of excluding Steve from the team selection, said, “Steve is playing in China and that is far”.
As insufficient as that excuse sounds, coach Tom in another press conference looking for unjustifiable reasons when he was squeezed for not including Steve in his team, said, ” Steve is not the only player that is not selected. I select Assan Ceesay he scored more goals than Steve for the national team”. Those were some embarrassing flimsy excuses the coach gave for ignoring a talent that any good coach will always rely on.
With the critics sharpening their scapegoat mouths and piercing the coach for leaving the ‘nations favourite’ out, Tom was not able to resist the pressure and he started including Steve in the team.
The impact of Steve’s return to the national team is on the wall for all to see, since then, Steve has always been that ‘super sub’ who will make an impact within moments of his introduction as he did against Gabon when he turned the defenders inside-out to set up Musa Barrow from point-blank. In the crucial decider against Angola, he again came on from the bench to be the architect of the vital lone goal scored by Assan Ceesay which earns The Gambia their first AFCON berth.
Who will expect a coach as boring as Tom with a “Catenaccio” mentality, to be doing justice to the pool of talented attackers at his disposal. Is Tom Saintfiet killing football and the players full of flair within The Gambia’s camp!