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City of Banjul
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pros round-up(Samateh moves to Finland, Savage injury blow, undecided Macounba in Helsinki trials)

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Following a successful weeklong trials at a top flight Finnish football side, Samateh confirmed yesterday that he had signed for Koupion Palloseura, acronymed Kups. 

The deal signed over the last few days would keep the Gambian at the club for one season with an option for extension. 

Speaking to The Standard on the phone shortly after signing the deaI, Samateh, 21, spoke well about the club’s project and his readiness to defend it all the way. “They offered me the Number 28 jersey and I will be in the mix of the backline as a central defender, which is my favourite role as a player,” he said. 

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The Gambian international parted company with Croatian top side NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in February after a three-year spell. The move to Finland now means he is re-united with his compatriots, midfielder Ebrima Sohna and defender Omar OJ Kolley in the club.


Meanwhile Samateh made his debut for Kups on Friday when they demolished lower league outfit HJK-Toolo 8-0 away, in the fifth round of the Finnish Cup with fellow Gambian Ebrima Sohna scoring the fourth goal. 

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Sohna joined the club at the turn of the year from Vostok in Kazahktan. Kups will travel to open their campaign in the new league against defending champions, Demba Savage’s HJK Helsinki on Saturday April 12.


Savage faces six-week injury lay-off

Another Gambian international has potentially joined a injury list of national team coach Bornu Johnson who must now be pondering on his squad for next month’s preliminary round of qualifiers for the 2015 African Nations’ Cup.

 HJK Helsinki’s prolific striker player Demba Savage is set to miss the start of the new season in Finland after suffering from a groin injury picked up in a late preseason friendly and will be sidelined for six weeks which, it is feared, could run into the beginning of the CAN qualifiers.

Speaking from his Helsinki base, the Gambian midfielder told The Standard that his injury, the second time in preseason, had given him a false-start to the new season. Savage, 25, is a double-figure goal merchant for HJK in the past two seasons and regular starter with 53 appearances in first line up in 58 matches. 


By Pa Assan Badjan (in London)


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