Gabon is leaving nothing to chance in this month’s double header against Gambia in the Afcon qualifiers.
To take stock of the preparations for the qualifiers in Franceville on November 12 and in Banjul on November 16, the team manager of the Gabonese national team, The Panthers, Pierre Aubame, few days ago gathered the team’s steward Genera Ahmed Mombo and security officer, Sidi Mohamed for a working session.
“As you know, this meeting is very important for us and therefore, nothing should be left to chance and to this end, we should take stock of the arrival days of players, the issuance of transport tickets, the timely dispatch of invitations, the securing of players at Libreville airport to until their hotel,” Aubame said, addresing the meeting.
“We are happy that things are going well and we will report later to whom it may concern in particular to the Minister of Sports, Franck Nguema, and to the president of Fégafoot, Pierre-Alain Mounguengui ”, he added.
He added that the meeting was called to fine-tune the highly important programmer aimed at getting the players up to speed. The team manager then revealed the schedule arrival date of the first batch arrivals of Gabonese international players. He said the first batch will arrive in Libreville on Friday, November 6, but the captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, will be slightly behind schedule as he will arrive two days later, on November 8. However according to Gabonnews.com the Arsenal striker was quoted on the L’Union daily, as saying, “I will be in Libreville on November 9th. For this crucial meeting against The Gambia, we will give everything to win this first duel at the top. This match is so important to us that only victory will be beautiful. And this in the perspective of the return leg too”.
Jr Assoumou replaces Appindangoye
Meanhile with Aaron Appindangoye withdrawn from the double header against Gambia, The Gabon Review is reporting that coach Patrice Neveu has drafted Junior Assoumou, a 25-year-old AS Vitré defender (French D4) who has been on his waiting list.
His inclusion completes the pack of central defenders of the Panthers of Gabon which also include Bruno Ecuele Manga, Gilchrist Nguema and Sidney Obissa. “
According to the Gabon Review all invitaions, including those on the waiting list, were sent to the players’ clubs in September, two days before the manager’s press conference,to be on time and to deal with cases of withdrawal.
It however remains to be seen who among the central defenders will be fielded alongside Bruno Ecuele Manga in these two choppy matches against Gambia, in the qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2022. According to some pundits, the new addition Junior Assoumou will still have to do his classes before aspiring to get a starting place in Patrice Neveu’s 11.
Sources: Gabon Review and Gabon news.