Former Gambia National Women’s team footballer Sainey Sisoho has a vision of the ‘Women’s Scorpions’ competing in the FIFA World Cup again and being a regular participant at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Sisoho, who currently works as Gambia Football Federation Women’s football coordinator says that Gambia has what it takes to qualify and compete at top competitions. “We have the players and trained coaches to take us to the dream land, Sainey tells The Chronicle.
The Gambia last competed in a FIFA women’s world cup in 2012 in which Sainey participated and scored a goal against France. “We are in the right direction, “Sisoho tells The Chronicle. “It’s evident to see how hard the current administration is striving to see the growth of women’s football in the Gambia. The player-pool has rapidly increased, leading to the formation of many junior national team categories which includes the U15 women’s national team.”
“To be honest, there has been a lot of growth for the women’s game in the Gambia for the past years. Even though we have a long way to go, it’s also important to note that we have registered some huge strides.”
In March this year, The Gambia Women’s National football team became the newest addition to the women’s world ranking, making their debut at 17 in Africa and 113rd globally in the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.
Such progress in this year’s first quarter of the women’s world ranking, is earmarked the country’s best-ever position achieved in her brief women’s football history having played five games against officially ranked teams (2 friendlies and 3 competitive) between December 2019 and March 2020.
However, Sisoho who’s now madam M’Boge, believes that for Gambia to cement her position among the top ranked teams on the continent, there should be consistent participation at the high level. “We have to be consistently participating at the highest level with top teams, so that we can also reach the top level, “she tells The Chronicle. “The GFF President Lamin Kabba Bajo has been so supportive in seeing our demands and objectives are met. He’s making sure that the support and attention given to the national male team is also accorded to the women’s team and that really motivates me to strive for success.”
There’s been a recent massive shift in the number of women and girls playing football in The Gambia. Three thousand and two hundred women are registered in the national league compare to previous years of only 2, 200 women playing active football, this according to Sainey, shows how rapidly the women’s game is growing in the country. “The growth has been huge but we can still do better, “she said. “We have to be united as a country to achieve what we want. Without unity, it’s going to be difficult for us to reach the high, “she stressed. Football is my life. All I want to see is my country qualify and compete at major international tournaments.”
However, as she gives her all to ensure that the top level of women’s football continues to rise, Sainey also uses her free time once in a while to coach upcoming youngsters to help them follow in the same route she took to the top. “It’s important to work from the grassroots, “she said. “Most of these young girls love and want to play football, so they the need to be introduced to the basics as soon as possible so they can excel to the top with discipline.”