Former City Girls player explains why she quit football for journalism

BY: Alieu Ceesay 

From being reported on as a footballer to becoming a football reporter, former female sides City Girls and Immigration midfielder, Awa D. Conteh speaks exclusively to Gambia Sports about what were the reasons for hanging up her boots in 2010 and taking up journalism years after.

So why did the former City Girls and Immigration hard-tackling female midfield player walk away from such a beautiful and lucrative game?

The same reason we have seen so many young players retire from the game they love.

According to her, it was from Immigration FC that she decided to quit football in 2010 to focus on her education as both her parents had passed away.

“There came a time it was very difficult because I lost both parents and I had no one to help me. So I had to focus on my education and there the Action Aid Organisation came in to help by paying my school fees. I started working for Action Aid as Field Worker when I graduated in 2013 from JC Faye Senior School. From there I worked for another institution before I joined Star FM, a local radio station as a young journalist reporting on sports and political issues,” she shared with Gambia Sports.

Awa, who was born in the West Coast Region cosmopolitan town of Brikama, but brought up in Tallinding, started playing football at a tender age while going to school at Deeper Life Primary School.

She later proceeded to Ndow’s Junior Secondary School, but whilst there, she was still playing for Loek Holland Football Academy in Tallinding in the Kanifing Municipality.

The 22-year old young lady played for Loek Holland Academy, Future Stars FC, Banjul-based City Girls FC and Immigration FC.

Aside from playing football, she also had passion for miming and dancing as she was part of the fans club of Tallinding based Nawettan side, Zurich FC.

“I played for Loek Holland Academy from 2005-2006. I joined City Girls in 2007, from where I joined Immigration FC even though I did not spent long time there.”

The young lady was not only a promising footballer, but a good athlete as well.

“Seeing girls playing now reminds me of my good old days when I was in my best. What the girls need now is to be helped to realize their aspirations,” said Miss Conteh, who was speaking to the media for the first time since quitting football.

“I loved football so much when I was playing and even my mum loved it even though she wanted me to be a soldier. I advise those in the game to stay focus if they want to continue playing the game.”

She calls calls for more support and sponsors to help women football developed.

Conteh would like to see women football and sports in general is given a befitting attention and coverage by the media.

“I have observe that the sports journalists focus more on the men and I would like to see that trend is changed by giving more attention to women sports,” she concluded.