By Sulayman Bah
Erik Stafford is hoping to impress gaffer Omar Sise when he touches down in Banjul to star for the Gambia U-20s.
The Young Scorpions face Sierra Leone April 23rd for the return fixture in the preliminary round of the African Youth Championship. And ahead of the crunch showdown at the Independence Stadium, the Scorpions are on the brink of being bolstered with the addition of a foreign-based player Erik.
Born in Oslo to a Norwegian mum and a Gambia father, Erik Stafford is expected to beef up Gaffer Omar Sise’s side to help press the buttons in attack.
The 18-year-old, who plays for Norwegian top tier side Sarpsborg 08 but missed out on the first-leg in Freetown, is on the verge of aiding the fatherland reach the next round of the qualifiers but first needs to force his way into the starting-line up.
‘I’m looking forward to it a lot and it’s a dream come true,’ he told his club when news of his invitation by the GFF came to light.
‘I hope to get down there (in Banjul), get to know the guys in the team, familiarize with the playing style there. I know this U20 team is one of the best in Africa at the moment and it seems there is an incredible amount of talent down there (in Banjul) now. I also hope to be able to impress the coach of the team during my stay and possibly get a starting place in the lineup, and get some experience on how it is outside of Norway,’ an intrigued Erik, says.
Stafford, who can also feature in either wings and has scored twelve goals in his first season with his club reserves, is kind of attacker that wreaks havoc on teams and sends chills down spines of defenders, depending massively on his strong built, skill and pace.
Norwegian giants Sarpsborg beat off competition from a number of clubs to secure his services December last year after he scored sixteen times in seven games for Sprint Jeløy SK youth team.
His goal stats prompted a fast promotion to Sprint Jeløy SK’s first team where he netted twelve times forcing Sarpsborg to sneak in and acquire him.