Under-17 coach and ex- international Lie Bojang has greeted yesterday’s Wafu draw with cautious optimism but he said he is prepared to face any team.
“When you are preparing for a tournament, you take every opponent seriously because you must meet other teams not in your group if you must progress. That is our plan, to build a team that will play collectively in attacking and take every opponent as equals, not to be scared but also not to underrate any opposition,” Bojang told The Standard.
The Steve Biko legend said he will very much welcome international test matches if possible but in the interim, they intend to play a tough local opposition such as the Gambia national team professional players some of whom are in town. “When you test yourself against a level higher than you, the benefit is bigger because you are mentally prepared to meet any side of your level,” he said.
Bojang also said this tournament is very important because it also opens a way for possible qualification to the African Under- 17 championship. “That is a big motivation for us. This is an opportunity we must try to grab because the previous qualifying method of home-away ties is difficult. Now we can qualify from just one place,” he prayed. The Gambian team will play Mali and Liberia in Group A of this 9-nation tourney of three groups of 3 each.
Note: The tournaments finalists qualify automatically to Africa U-17 championship in Tanzania in 2019.