UK-based Gambian coach aims to develop grassroots football

BY: Arfang MS. Camara

Gambian coach Edrissa Sallah has expressed his intention to contribute his quota towards the development of grassroots football in the country after staging an U-12 and U-15 football tournament.

The UK-based Gambian coach was speaking in an interview with reporters over the weekend at the KG5 Mini-Stadium in Banjul, during the final of his U-15 football tournament named after the Alagie Housainou M.M. Njai.

The tournament, that brought together eight teams, is aimed at promoting grassroots football in the country and also give chance to young players to showcase their talents.

Best Football Academy, based in Kanifing Estate clinched the tournament’s trophy and prizes after defeating Banjul-based team Makkan Bi FC 5-4 on post-match penalty shootout following a 1-1- in the regulation period.

Sallah went further to said that the country is lacking behind in terms of youth football development because there is infrastructure development such as football facilities for youth to showcase their talents.

“We are trying to establish contact wherever we can to help kids that have passion in football to

improve their skills,” he said adding that one of the objectives to organise this tournament is to honour the Late Alagie Housainou Njai who has done tremendously well in football development in the country.

The Technical Director of The Gambia Football Federation, Sang Ndong, welcomed the initiative from the Moneyfields FC youth-team gaffer and said that the most important thing in football is the grassroots and youth level, noting that people should invest in the development of grassroots football.

While calling on others to emulate Sallah, Ndong said that his office is also open to working with people that have ambition in developing country’s grassroots football.

William Abraham, President of Real de Banjul hailed the importance of the initiative, noting that he always love seeing children playing football at this age while calling on Gambians in the diaspora to emulate Edrissa Sallah in encouraging the Gambian youths into football.

The winners of the tournament, Best Football Academy, were presented a giant trophy with a set of jersey and football boots while Makkan Bi FC were also given a set of jerseys.