The Gambia’s FF Cup Champions Hawks FC have arrived in Nigeria to face the oil rich Akwa-based Akwa United in the first of the 2018 CAF Confederation cup preliminary ties on Sunday 11th February, at the Godswill Akpobia International Stadium, in Uyo.
The 18 man squad selected by coach Ansumana Fatty, had left Banjul in the early hours of Wednesday morning along with 9 team officials including the club’s Secretary General, Sadibou Kamaso, who led the party, and team have arrived in Akwa state’s capital, Uyo, via Lagos, ahead of the first of the double-headed clash against Abdu Maikaba’s men in the second-tier continental competition. The travelling party also include the representative of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF), Ndongo Camara.
The clash will be Hawk’s second appearance in the competition, having participated in the fourth edition of the championship in 2007, where they made the last 32, after seeing off AS Denguélé of Ivory Coast on away goals in the preliminaries, however they were knocked out by another Nigerian side, Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt, after losing 3-2 away in Nigeria, which followed a 0-0 home draw in Banjul.
The Gambian Cup holders now face a daunting task to see off the in-form NPFL league leaders, who are on a 23 game unbeaten run at home, and have lost only once in their last seven games, including an emphatic 4-0 victory in their last outing on Sunday against Wikki Tourists F.C. Whereas, in stack contrast, Hawks have been struggling in the GFF domestic league this season, where they sit 9th on the league table, although they have somehow seem to have turned the table since the turn of the year, having won two of their last three games. But prior to that, they had failed to register a win in their first six outings of the season.
The team which includes goalkeeper, Yankuba Colley alongside Alfusainey Gassama, Omar Sarr, Bakary Jarju, Adama Gassama, Mass Manga, PA Antou Badjan, Balla Musa Danso, Lamin Fatajoe, Madi Jarju, Muhammed Jallow, Lamin Charty, Solomon Jarju, Bakary Jarju, Muhammed Kujabi, Eliyasa Sanyang, Matarr Badjie, Abdoulie Jallow, Modou Sarr and Sarmir Abourizk, will return to Banjul on Tuesday, February 13, where they will host the return leg tie scheduled for Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
The other officials in the travelling delegation includes team manager Kebba Njie, assistant coaches Alieu Jagne and Malick Gassama, trainer Dawda Jammeh, physio Sulayman Tambedou, and media officer Mbye Camara.