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17.05.2005 Football News

Gamia'05: Osam Duodu: My mission today

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The man who carries the burden to sail the nation to calmer seas in this African Under 1-7 championship Coach Fred Osam Duodu, has reiterated that his ambition is to get his team to the final of the African Under -17 finals, currently on at the Independence stadium.

After a good rest from the upheavals of the last group match loss to Ghana, Fred is refusing to have his eyes clouded by the result. Semi finalists in tomorrow's battle for the last two, Osam took time from his lunch at the plush Sunbeach Hotel where he and his boys are cocooned for the last three weeks .

He said since at the onset of the tourney, his ambition has been set to take the baby Scorpions to Sunday's final and from then on, according to him, matters follow their own course. Quizzed whether his charges are up to this task today, Fred said the last meeting between South Africa and The Gambia was July last year and it was The Gambia who won. “South Africa is not new to us. We are not new to them too. We have played them once before,''' he said.

On what fans can expect from today's semi-final, Fred declined to give specifics saying only that his aim is to reach the final. But he said the fans should do their part of the deal by giving massive support to the boys.

Asked what went wrong in his last group match against Ghana, Fred said; “In this game you cannot have every thing work exactly to your plans. But where something happens you learn from it and make the necessary amends as you go along,'' he said He said the boys only need to be constantly concentrated .

On the assertion that his change of selection and style caused the team's defeat against Ghana, Fred said: “It is not formations that win matches, it is the materials that you have and how they fit into those positions that win matches. And no formation is permanent even in one game,'' he said. He said the trouble with football is that even those who do not know it, forms opinions on it. 'That is the situation,” he said.

Asked about his general impression of the tourney, Fred said he would have to wait until later to comment on all the aspects of the game. “You have to first deal with the job at hand and then cross another bridge if it comes,” he said.

The Gambia takes on South Africa today at 7. 30 pm while Ghana meets neighbours Ivory Coast in the first semifinal match at 5pm.

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