Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet has recalled captain Pa Modou Jagne, Bubacarr Sanneh and Modou Jobe to his final 28-man squad for next month's Total Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.
Trio have been regular fixtures in the Belgians starting lineup but were not included in recent friendlies.
Saintfiet masterminded the Scorpions historic qualification to the continent's flagship tournament back in March this year after topping Group D which also housed Gabon, DR Congo and Angola.
"The squad is selected based on the principles that we have to look ahead on what we need," Saintfiet told CAFOnline.com. "Looking to the opponents that we will face and possible opponents in the later stages."
The former Togo and Namibia coach has kept most of his squad that took part in the qualifying campaign. The list includes record goalscorer and the scorer of the historic qualification goal against Angola Assan Ceesay.
The FC Zurich forward who has 13 goals this season will be his country's key man at the tournament, and he's joined in the team by Musa Barrow and Omar Colley.
Exciting midfielder Alasana Manneh, Sheriff Sinyan, Maudo Jarjue and Abdoulie Sanyang all missed out in The Gambia's maiden TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations.
"For every position we needed alternatives we also wanted to create a very good group a good cohesion in the group and a good atmosphere," added Saintfiet. "Naturally, also several players out of respect for their role in achieving the qualification."
Until this tournament, The Gambia was the only West African country yet to make the AFCON and coach Saintfiet believes he has the team to make a statement in Cameroon.
"Together I think we have a very balanced group with a lot of young, quality but also some experienced players.
"I believe that this team is the team which deserve to be at AFCON, and which has all the qualities show something at the tournament."
The Gambia was drawn in Group F alongside Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania. They will play their first ever TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations match on 12 January 2021 against Mauritania in Limbé.
Saintfiet announced his final 28-man squad for the AFCON. The team will now leave for Qatar for a pre-tournament camp that begins next week. Matches Algeria and Syria on 1st and 5th January respectively in Doha. The Scorpions will then fly to Cameroon on 7th January, 2022. pic.twitter.com/85cytgC0Wc— Official GFF 🇬🇲 (@TheGambiaFF) December 21, 2021
Goalkeepers: Baboucarr Gaye (Rot-Weiss Koblenz, Germany), Sheikh Sibi (Virtus Verona, Italy), Modou Jobe (Black Leopards, South Africa)
Defenders: Pa Modou Jagne (FC Dietikon, Switzerland), Omar Colley (Sampdoria, Italy), James Gomez (AC Horsens, Denmark), Noah Sonko Sundberg (Ostersund, Sweden), Bubacarr Sanneh (Unattached), Ibou Touray (Salford City, England), Saidy Janko (Real Valladolid, Spain)
Midfielders: Mohammed Mbye (Solvesborg, Sweden), Ebrima Sohna (Fortune FC, The Gambia), Dawda Ngum (Bronshoj, Denmark), Sulayman Marreh (Gent, Belgium), Ebrima Darboe (Roma, Italy), Yusupha Bobb (Piacenza, Italy), Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers, England).
Forwards: Musa Barrow (Bologna, Italy), Ablie Jallow (Seraing, Belgium), Bubacarr "Steve" Trawally (Ajman, UAE), Ebrima Colley (Spezia, Italy), Lamin Jallow (Fehervar, Hungary), Bubacarr Jobe (Norrby, Sweden), Assan Ceesay (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Muhammed Badamosi (Kortrijk, Belgium), Modou Barrow (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, South Korea), Dembo Darboe (Shakhtyor Soligorsk, Belarus), Yusupha Njie (Boavista, Portugal)