Sierra Leone’s first round opponent in the upcoming qualifying stage of the Under-17 tournament, Gambia, will take on their Guinea Bissau counterparts in a friendly international football match on Saturday, August, 2, at the Independence Stadium, Bakau.
Both sides are using Saturday’s friendly as a warm-up test ahead of the qualifying rounds for the 8th edition of African Under-17 Championship finals scheduled to take place in Algeria next year.
Gambia will take on Sierra Leone in the first round of the qualifying stage with the first leg taking place in Banjul on the final weekend of August.
The return leg will come a fortnight later in Freetown, with the winner proceeding to take on the winner of the Ghana – Libya match for the final round tie in November.
The Bissau Guinean team arrived in Banjul last evening ahead of the weekend match.
Three weeks after the Bissau friendly, Coach Tarik Siagy and his team will travel to Dakar to take on Senegal in a final warm-up match ahead of Sierra Leone.
The Baby Scorpions are hoping for their second appearance in the CAF Under-17 Championships finals. Gambia clinched the Under-17 title in their first ever appearance in the 2005 finals hosted in Banjul, but later failed to qualify for the subsequent edition hosted in Rwanda in 2007.
In preparation for the said competition, the Sierra Leone U-17 team will play their own friendly match in the provinces this weekend. They will play in Makeni and the following weekend in Bo.
The reason why the team is not able to play international friendly matches is because of funding which is not available. The team is going through intensive training at the national stadium for this all important tournament.