Any follower of Gambian football from the mid to late 90s would easily remember Aziz Corr Nyang, the adept attacker well known for exciting fans with his dribbling skills and tenacity on the pitch.
Fast, tenacious in his attacking and creative, Aziz is one of the most technically gifted players to have ever donned the national colors, exercising great vision with his dribbling and shooting.
Born and raised in Banjul where he built passion for football, Aziz invented himself as an attacker who’d come alive in the penalty area, as well as a composed finisher in front of goal. During his time, he was arguably Gambia’s finest at running with the ball and changing direction at pace.
Aziz started his career with Ngoyan F.C., a nawettan team in Banjul before moving to Flamingo for a short stint.
In 1998, he joined top tier side Gambia Ports Authority for few seasons. In that year, Aziz helped Ports Authority win the league, a feat that contributed to his call-up to the national U17 squad. “My first game for ports was against Hawks, a good game for me, “he recalls. “That game changed my career because from there, I was selected to be in the first set of players for the U17.
By then, he became a hot cake in town. His flair for tricks and daring, energetic plays have always made him fun to watch. “We had a pool of very good players then in the U17,” Aziz told The Chronicle. “We had the likes of Arthur Gomez, Demba Jagne, Kebba Njie and Foday Suwareh these were very good players that made everything easy for me in the team. We were unstoppable.”
With the U17, Aziz quickly gained legendary status thanks to his exceptionally quick feet, close control and eye for goal. “I was very fast with the ball, ” he said. I had never thought of going back, always forward.”
Aziz’s debut for the senior national team was against Lesotho in an African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Independence Stadium in 2002. The tricky attacker, who was the youngest on the pitch on that day, was undoubtedly the star of the match, he scored a brace as the Scorpions walloped Lesotho 6-0. “That was my best game for The Gambia. Then, The Gambia didn’t win a match for so long, so having to beat Lesotho and also scored two goals, I was just excited. You can see the excitement we brought on the faces of the fans, that was so cool.”
“His control is top-notch and he is willing to confront defenders with a tenacity, calmness and vision,” says Baboucarr Bittaye one of Aziz’s admirers. “He was my favorite player. Aziz had deadly finishing capabilities and he was intelligent with the ball.”
The gifted dribbler scored four goals for the Scorpions in 20 games.
“Playing in the national team was so great. We got each other’s back and we were always ready to die for our country no matter what.”
Aziz describes the Scorpions’ African Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal in 2008 as the saddest day of his career. Not because of the 3-1 defeat, but the ‘wicked’ treatment the Gambian players received at the hands of the Senegalese. “They treated us very bad and I will never forget that moment,” he said. “They physically attacked us even after winning us, that was so wrong and it stands out to be my saddest moment with the national team.”
Aziz had spells with teams in Malta and Sweden. However, he’s still playing football in Sweden as a player coach with the Gambian team playing in the Swedish 5th tier. His aim is to qualify the team to the Swedish top tier. “I haven’t retired from football yet as many will think. I have age-mates who are still playing for the national team,” he said. “Right now my target is to help the Gambian team in the Swedish league qualify to the top tier.”
He also have plans to acquire coaching badges.