Gambian footballers make moves ahead of next season

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As clubs in Europe brace up for the next season, footballers, including Gambians, are making moves to new clubs to start new chapters of their careers. There are others who either terminated their contracts or their contracts expired.  

We tee off with Modou Camara, the former Hawks FC defender who was part of the club’s 2021-21 Gambia Football Federation (GFF) Division One League winning team. The Gambia U23 defender joined Arka Gdynia in February 2023 from Hawks FC. Ahead of next season, Camara has signed for Olimpia Grudziądz on loan from Polish first-tier side Arka Gdynia. Olimpia are a newly promoted second-division club in Poland.

Another Gambian international Saidy Janko has signed for BSC Young Boys for the second time in his career. The Scorpions’ defender moved to the Swiss champions from Real Valladolid C.F. on a four-year contract. He previously spent a season on loan with the Swiss team, winning the Swiss League and Cup during that loan spell.

Gibril Sillah signed for Tanzanian giants Azam FC on a two-year contract from Moroccan club Raja Club Athletic. The attacking midfielder is Azam’s second summer signing after earlier capturing the signing of striker Idris Mbombo, who will remain at Azam Complex until 2024.

In other transfer news, Gambian international midfield maestro Sulayman Marreh is now a free agent after his club KAA Gent confirmed his departure from the club this summer. Saul’s contract expires on June 30, 2023. He had 46 appearances, scoring one goal and assisting once with Gent since joining in 2020.

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Photo: Nuha Marong (right) only started six games in the Super League with Kelantan. © Kelantan FC

Gambian international striker Nuha Marong has terminated his contract with Malaysian side Kelantan FC on mutual consent.

According to the Malaysia’s news website The Star, Marong is one of scores of key foreign players to have left the club recently.

“The club would like to express their gratitude for the contribution and devotion of Nuha Marong. Good luck Nuha Marong,” the club confirmed in a statement issued on social media.

Marong only started six games in the Super League, where he provided an assist but did better in the FA Cup, scoring two goals in two games. He thanked the fans for their support but wished that the club’s internal problems would be solved soon.

“I want to thank all the Kelantan fans, technical staff, and especially the players… for the love they showed me from day one,” he said.

“Today, I put an end to an adventure that I did not expect to end like this. Kelantan will always be in my heart.

“I hope that all the internal problems will be solved for the good of the fans, who go out of their way to support their team.”

The Star further reported that Kelantan have been beset with salary issues, with owner Norizam Tukiman publicly claiming that he had held back the players’ salaries due to their poor performance. He, however, has since said the full salaries would be distributed to the players.

“The situation has resulted in many players leaving the club, beginning with Filipino defenders Carli De Murga and Christian Rontini in May. Last month, Miguel Cifuentes and Mario Arques followed suit, with Cifuentes signing for Sabah. Nigerian striker Ismaheel Akinade has also moved on, joining Kelantan United for the remainder of the Super League season,” the news site disclosed.

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