BY Afeseh Apong
The Captain of the Gambian women’s National team Penda Bah, has insisted that she and her teammates are in Cameroon to deliver a positive result, as the Queen scorpions attempt to get a ticket for the African Women’s cup of Nations in Morocco.
Penda Bah and her teammates are in Cameroon to challenge the indomitable Lionesses in the first leg last round qualifiers on Friday, with the hopes of grabbing a positive result, and finishing the job in Banjul on February 23.
The Queen scorpions arrived Cameroon in the early hours of Wednesday, and had a training session at the Military stadium. Speaking to Gambia FF media, Penda Bah called on all Gambians to show them the same support as they did for their male team during the AFCON.
“We are here to deliver something that is expected from the whole Gambia. We’re not going to play against a small country, we all know what Cameroon can do when it comes to women’s football. But I want to send this message to the entire Gambians that we will do our best and will surely make them proud. We will try to combine our little experience from what we can do and elaborate it together for everybody to be happy,” Bah said.
“We might not be what people think but I know that the girls are ready to do this and they will see the difference come Friday. The players are really confident. We’ve build self confidence and motivation. We discuss amongst ourselves, like I said the girls have a very positive mind for the game and I think everything is possible. Even if it is harder, we’re going to do our best and I think a best result could be a draw,” she added.
“Let them (Gambians) keep praying for us. Prayers can make anything easy for everybody. We’re going to do our best for Gambia, we need your support. Even if you think we can not do it, give us the courage that we’re going to do it. I think with that we’re perfectly into the game and I am promising the entire Gambians that we’re coming with a positive result to the country. Let them also come in their numbers to support their ladies as they do for the men.
The Gambian women’s National team is ranked 121 in the FIFA’s classification of women national selections, 68 places behind the indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, who are ranked 53rd. Gambia’s team administrator Alhaji Nyassi says despite the huge difference, they’re coming to give Cameroon a good run for their money.
“When you look at Cameroon in women’s football, they are ranked amongst the best in the continent, but over the years we have also grown big in terms of achieving certain things in women’s football. We don’t expect an easy game. Cameroon is a household name not only in the male side, but also women’s game. We are coming here to compete, we’re not coming to be brush aside easily. We will give them the most respect, but we’re here to compete. If we’re able to get a draw, it’s good. A win will be a bonus for us,” said Gambia’s Team administrator Alhaji Nyassi.
Gambia’s project of building a solid women’s National team, has seen many youngsters joining, with the likes of Haleema Hamilton Froiland being the latest.
“The girls are motivated, they’re full of energy and enjoying themselves, it just to get out there and perform. We’ve got some foreign based players and the other ones are young players just coming into the national team. This is a project, it can go for a very long time, it can go very short, because these kids coming and associating themselves with Gambian football at this age, if we can encourage them, they will end up being the senior players of this team. There was a lot of efforts put in to get them, finally all of them are here. The players are the ones who will be on the pitch, but we go our responsibilities as Gambians to stand behind them to raise the county’s flag to the highest heights possible,” said the Technical adviser to the Queen Scorpions, Sang Ndong.
Mariama Bom Sowe and her girls will definitely draw inspiration from Tom Saintfiet’s Scorpions, as they look set to defy the Lionesses in their own den, with AWCON Morocco 2022 at the corner.
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