Perhaps Tom Saintfiet and technical team now know that no amount of wins in friendly matches count, when you lose the one that matters (the official matches).
And so they cannot rely on the team’s two wins at a friendly camp in Morocco to continue singing songs of redemption when under their watch our World Cup ambition bites the dust in humiliating fashion starting with a home defeat.
Now Saintfiet again, has started calling his troops for the October 9 clash against Djibouti in the Afcon preliminaries. Unlike the World Cup The Gambia will not be excused or forgiven for any flop in this one.
Already there is growing call for drastic measures should the country suffer any further humiliation, especially at home.
This message is also reverberating in the offices of the GFF at Football House where there is a growing, albeit silent realization that fans’ patience is gradually waning and only tangible results on the pitch can win favours with the football loving population.
So by and large the coming fixture against Djibouti is a battle for survival for Gambian football.
Here is a glance at the provisional quad called to face Djibouti on October 9.
The selection features a consistent pool of players who have represented the Scorpions under the Belgian.
However, Lamin JALLOW, who has featured regularly, has excused himself from the squad for ‘family reasons’.
Modou JOBE (Jeddah FC, Saudi Arabia), Sheikh SIBI (Virtus Verona, Italy), Baboucarr GAYE (SG Wattenscheid, Germany), Alagie NYABALLY (GPA).
Pa Modou JAGNE (FC Zürich, Switzerland), Ibou TOURAY (Salford City, England), Omar COLLEY (Sampdoria, Italy), Mohammed MBYE (Mjällby, Sweden), Bubacarr SANNEH (Göztepe, Turkey), Sulayman BOJANG (Kongsvinger IL, Norway), Dadi Dodou GAYE (KFUM Oslo, Norway), Ngine Faye NJIE (Gamtel).
Alasana MANNEH (Górnik Zabrze, Poland), Dawda NGUM (FC Roskilde, Denmark), Ebou ADAMS (Forest Green, England), Sulayman MARREH (KAS Eupen, Belgium), Hamza BARRY (Hajduk Split, Croatia), Ablie JALLOW (AC Ajaccio, France), Ebrima COLLEY (Atalanta, Italy), Sheriff SINYAN (Lillestrøm, Norway), Bun SANNEH (Génération Foot, Senegal).
Assan CEESAY (FC Zürich, Switzerland), Bubacarr JOBE (Mjällby, Sweden), Ali SOWE (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria), Yusupha NJIE (Boavista, Portugal), Adama JAMMEH (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Muhammed BADAMOSI (FUS Rabat, Morocco), Musa BARROW (Atalanta, Italy)
The provisional list will be trimmed to 20 players who will travel to Djibouti for the first leg to be played on Wednesday 9th October, with the return in Banjul scheduled for Sunday 13th October.