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02.06.2004 Football News

I'll build good foundation for Gambian football - Osam

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Accra, June 2, GNA - Coach Fredrick Osam-Duodu, the newly appointed Technical Director of the Gambian Under-17 football team has said his immediate task with his new team is to lift the standard of Gambian football to an appreciable level by building a solid foundation with the juvenile team.

The veteran coach who has also been assigned to help improve the standard of coaching, help in the development of FIFA Goal Project in the country and to identify and train coaches, said though the country is not a powerful football nation, he is confident of putting the needed structures in place to help them develop.

"I cannot promise that Gambia will win the Africa Under-17 championship, but I am sure the nations football will get somewhere after the tournament." Coach Osam Duodu stated in an interview with the that countries like Burkina Faso, Senegal and other minnows have made it, is an indication that they are also capable of reaching the desired target.

Coach Osam Duodu is on record to have won the 1978 Nation's Cup for Ghana also won gold in the Africa Youth Tournament with the Black Satellites and continued to the world stage to win the silver medal in Australia with the same team.

He told the GNA Sports that his new appointment is an indication of the recognition of his rich curriculum vitae by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

He said Ghanaians have not given much recognition to his vast knowledge in football, adding that, his rich experience has therefore been under- utilised by Ghana over the past years.

According to the coach, he has more to offer in the field of coaching since the nature of the profession makes coaches more experienced as they grow, but regretted that former administrations failed to make good use of his services.

He said the past administration of the Ghana Football Association, (GAF) headed by Mr Ben Koufie, completely ignored him as the technical director of the FA and never involved him in anything.

" I will therefore use this opportunity to prove my worth, for I have a lot to offer in the game of football." Coach Osam Duodu added. He said " If my own people refuse to use me, I will make my services available for another country, for after all I am an African".

Coach Osam Duodu however, stated that he is not interested in coming back to active football coaching, but he wants to be involved in the development of the game.

The coach who leaves for Gambia on Saturday to begin his new job, expressed the hope that at the end of the one year term, he will achieve his purpose in the West African country to warrant his recall for an extension of his contract.