Two Gambian goal-assassins to look out for at Afcon 2021


By Momodou Jarju

To many Gambian football fans and/or followers, they don’t need introducing.  These two players have a season to remember for life as they displayed well abroad and are bracing up for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which kicked off on Sunday in Cameroon. It’s a maiden appearance for the country and players. The Scorpions, who are among the debutants in the continent’s flagship tournament, would be relying on these two strikers in particular to bag in goals come Wednesday when the Scorpions will play against Mauritania. 

Assan Ceesay (Torres)

Photo: Gambian forward player, Assan Ceesay (Torres). © Culled from his twitter handle.

His name became a signature phrase amid The Gambia’s maiden qualification to Afcon as he contributed 5 goals in the qualifiers for the senior Scorpions. Thus, he is more likely to lead the attack for the Scorpions at the Afcon finals.

Also known as Torres, Ceesay is currently in the form of his life. The in-form striker is the second highest goal contributor in the Swiss Super League, 3 goals adrift from the top scorer.

He has helped his team top the Swiss league and get double figures for the first time in his professional career. The 1.89 metres tall striker scored 11 (2nd in the league) and assisted 5 (3rd in the league with 3 others).

The 27-year-old FC Zurich forward’s 16 goals contribution in the 2021-22 Swiss Super League is a record high for him and he would be looking to replicate that form in the pitch when he dons the national colours of The Gambia.

Dembo Darboe

Photo: Dembo Darbo receiving his golden boot award. © Culled from GFF website.

He would probably be on the bench and come on later, but there is no gainsaying that Dembo Darboe deserves to play. Rightly so, Assan Ceesay has been phenomenal in front of goal for both club and country, and he is expected to lead the scorpions’ attacking force. Dembo Darboe, however, would be an impact player Gambians would love to see whenever he is introduced on the pitch.

Darboe is the first Gambian footballer voted best player of the Belarus league and won the golden boot award. His goal contribution has been exceptional, bagging 23 and assisting 12 for Shakhtyor Soligorsk team in the recently ended Belarusian premier league campaign.

“During the course of the campaign, he won the most valuable player five times and six man-of-the-match performances. He scored 30% of the team’s 64 goals this season and combined with the assists, he directly participated in 48.4% of those goals,” Gambia Football Federation (GFF) wrote in early December about his acumen, published on their website.

He was also voted as the player of the season by his fellow professional players, fans and coaches in the league.