Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet has disclosed that he will announce his final squad tomorrow Wednesday, a week before they travel to Djibouti for the first leg of the Afcon preliminary tie.
Speaking to the GFF website www.gambiaff.org the coach added: “We always call the biggest and strongest squad to take to matches and there are reasons for that because players are still with their clubs playing Injuries could happen and sometimes cancellations.
Some players already informed us that they prefer playing for their clubs which is a shocking and unfortunate news but we always anticipate that. The final squad list will be announced on Wednesday so that we will be ready for the trip to Djibouti”.
Tom said the loss to Angola in the World Cup was frustrating but its understandable “because Angola is one of the major football nations in Africa in the past fifteen years”.
He thanked the players for putting up a great fight and the GFF for providing all required logistics for the period.
He said the focus for the Scorpions now is on Djibouti and he and his team would make all efforts to amend what was not achieved in the WC qualifiers.
“The game is arranged for Wednesday the 9th October and there will not be much time for us because our players are still in action with their clubs in Europe and when they are released for the match, we will only have one training session with them. However I am
in daily contact with my technical staff and we are as well analysing the Djibouti videos. Djibouti is not a bad side and I respect them but I value my team also because our aim is to qualify the country to the group stages of the Afcon and to get there we have to perform on the pitch and have players who want to die for their country,” he said.
Saintfiet however remained anxious about refereeing decisions in such crucial games.
”But we will try to keep possession and be more efficient in front of goal”, he noted.
The coach said his team will provide effective tactics and make best use of the chances provided “because it is an away leg”.
“I believe in the players because they are ready to fight and die for their country.
I am convinced that with the players we have, we can achieve our aims to qualify the Gambia to the Afcon and that is our ultimate aim”, he concluded.
The Scorpions will set out to Djibouti via Istanbul Turkey where a brief convergence for the players coming from across Europe would be arranged before leaving for Djibouti city.
The game is scheduled for Wednesday 9th October in Djibouti city with the return leg in Banjul on Sunday 13th October at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.