Talent of the day – Amath Diallo

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Talent of the day – Amath Diallo

Age: 18 years

Height: 1.87

Club: Amitie FC

Position: Left-wing, Attacking Midfielder

Player Role: flamboyant winger/ advanced playmaker

Strength: Dribbling, speed, technique, technique, ball control, creativity, crossing, agility, set pieces

Similar type of player: James Maddison

Amat optimistic he is on the road to success at Amitie FC

After the African Cup Challenge tournament semifinals, everyone was asking: Who was the player who scored that stunner? Amat, like many young Gambians, is currently in Senegal, continuing his development en route to professional football. The Alkamba Times caught up with the Bakau born player as he highlighted his amazing career and the path, he is undertaking under the tutelage of Demba Ba.

Amat scored twice against African Football Epic (AFE of Mali, owned by former Senegalese international Diomansy Kamara) in the group stage and semifinal. His goal against AFE went on to win the goal of the tournament as they edged Generation Foot 1-0 in the finals. The fourth edition of the African Cup Challenge was played at the Diambars Institute in Senegal from April 15th to April 21st. The international tournament brought 12 academies from five different West African countries and a European club who competed for honors. Amat capped the tournament with two goals, one assist, and two Man of the Match awards.

 

“Not every player is opportune to play in these kinds of tournaments. In the previous tournament, we weren’t prepared that much, and the Amitie project wasn’t that stable during our first time participating, resulting in us being knocked out of the quarterfinals. However, this time we prepared mentally and physically. I am not surprised that we beat Generation Foot in the finals; we played tougher games compared to those of the Generation Foot match. AFE is a good team, as is Diambars. We won against both teams. With the impact the team has, I don’t think any opponent can withstand us.” He noted.

Journey with Amitie FC

Scouted at the sandy football field in Bakau, Amat was training for the interregional competition when the scout of Amitie FC, Justin, spotted an average midfielder fondly called Maddison among mates. Justin who is known to have scouted Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson concluded even before they started the training session that Amath was everything they were looking for in the Gambia. He didn’t continue that interregional competition, making his move to Dakar imminent. Amat left the shores of the Gambia at the end of 2022 to start his trials with Amitie FC, and by January 2023, he was offered a contract. Playing for both the academy and the A team. He went on to finish the league with them in the second half of the season, scoring four goals and providing three assists, propelling him to become an integral core of the team in the season that follows. He is currently the team’s specialist, responsible for both corner kicks and free kicks.

In 20 games so far, the left-footed winger has six goals and six assists as he eyes double figures.

“Senegal is a gateway; Senegalese football is part of the best in Africa, without a doubt, and we have seen off late with facilities, talent, and support from the government.”

“If you have the opportunity, as a young player, to move to Senegal to show your talent, go for it.”

“Players like Bun Sanneh, Ablie Jallow, Lamin Jarjou, and Alasana Faye serve as motivation, seeing them leave the Gambia and do wonderful stuff in Senegal. I feel like I have the potential to achieve what they have achieved in Senegal and showcase what I can do. Senegal is a gateway, and that’s why I chose to join Amitie FC. I was impressed with the Amitie project. I saw that the players were in good condition, and I felt like this is the place where I can progress more in my football. Amitie has a good project, just like Generation Foot and Diambars; they are developing and competing in the second division. I am very happy to be here for now and am waiting for bigger opportunities.”

Amitie was initially a Thies club, but Demba Ba is moving the team, which is in its completion phase, to Mary Kunda.

” It’s motivation; whenever he comes, he chats with us and teaches us a lot. He is a complete mentor.”

On whether he will avail himself for nationality switch if an opportunity comes, Amat emphasized that his dream is to feature for Gambia.

“Senegalese nationality? Yes but I want to represent Gambia in the in the U20, and that’s my dream. The Gambia U20 lost Teungueth winger Youssouph Sanyang, who represented the young lions in all Africa games in Accra. Samyang is enjoying a terrific run of performances with the Dakar-based club. Just like their predecessors, they all represented Senegal in the junior category.”

Amat previously played for his boyhood club, Fajara South Atlantic. Despite not completing the season, he is a League Cup winner and scored in Bakau’s 2-0 win over Serekunda West in the preseason. That wonderful season made Hawks and BK Milan send their offers, and as soon as he hit the ground running in his early days with Amitie FC, Diambars and Jaraff scrambled for his signing.

Amat manager Pateh Nyang, a former Gambian international said Amat is in the right hands with Demba Ba.

“Demba Ba, being the legend he is and the project he has, I didn’t hesitate to release Amat. Justin returned, and I escorted him to the Amat’s family. His early days in Amitie yielded dividends as his physique was built, his off-the-ball weakness was worked on, and the missing flair for Amat was added making him to defend well. I saw a rapid development in him.

His departure to Senegal motivated the boys at Fajara South a lot, especially Omar Jarju; he made a lot of impact and ended up leaving for Denmark too. Other players went to the first and second divisions, and the smaller ones had a big performance in the nawettan, and now most of them are in the third division.

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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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