Musa Juwara, Musa Barrow spearheading Gambia's World Cup dream - Saintfiet
Ed Dove
July 18, 2020
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47-year-old said.

"It's difficult to climb up in the rankings, and probably Gambia have to be two-time world champions before we can get into the top 100.

"I'm very proud of what we achieved as a team, as a federation, as players, but I'm not yet satisfied. We want more, and I believe that in the coming five to ten years, Gambia has the potential to become a major country in African football.

"We can be regular qualifiers for the African championship, and I know that a World Cup is coming in 2026, Africa will have nine qualifying places, and knowing how our young talent will grow over the next five, six years, I think Gambia can dream and work towards that.

"They are the real achievements you want to get as a coach."

Saintfiet, who has a reputation as a giant-killer, has a firm grasp on the historical context of his achievements, using past failures and landmarks as motivational tools to spur players on to the results their predecessors failed to secure.

His methods worked in Namibia, with the southern Africans climbing more than 30 places in the FIFA rankings under Saintfiet's leadership, and he hopes that Gambia can pick up their momentum again when international football returns in Africa.

"These players can write history," Saintfiet said.

"It would be fantastic for the group to be the first squad of players in Gambian football to go to an African championship, and they have the potential to do so.

"A lot of Gambian players are highly respected in the country, and these players can now make the kind of history that can be told to the next generations, in the next 30, 40, 50 years, so that people talk about them as being the first ones to reach the AFCON.

"If we achieve that, the goal has to be to go to the World Cup. These boys have so much quality, even they don't know yet where the limits are."
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