By Sahr Morris Jr.
Caretaker coach of Sierra Leone's national U-20 squad, Charlie Wright, has reacted to the African governing body, CAF's 20th edition of the African Youth Championship qualifiers' draw after they were drawn against The Gambia.
Shooting Stars' quest to qualify for the African U-20 Championship in Zambia will start in Freetown as they will host the Baby Scorpions between April 1 and 3 in the first leg of the preliminary rounds.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Sports, coach Wright said he is pleased with the draw because their Gambian opponents are no longer strangers to Sierra Leone.
He said: "It is no hidden secret that the Gambians have enjoyed good form against us in the past years in this competition but we are determined to break that jinx this time.
"We want to use this campaign as a turning point and get a good result from the first leg in Freetown, which we believe could be key for us as we approach the return leg on a fortnight. We respect the Gambians but we must put a stop to their positive run against us."
Also reacting to the draw, Omar Sise - Gambian's national U-20 coach - told the Gambia-based newspaper, Daily Observer, that the hard work begins now for them, conceding however that the qualifiers wouldn't be easy as he cautioned against underestimating any opponent.
"We want to qualify to Zambia, therefore we must prepare very well for the qualifiers. Our opponents will be respected very well but we are not afraid of any team; we will fight to the end. We have the material to qualify the team," Sise was quoted by the Observer.
The winner of the tie will have to face Morocco, who was given a bye in the preliminaries.
Source: ALL AFRICA