One-time Gambia Football Wonder-kid Darboe on How He Was Tricked in Norway

By Sulayman Bah

Abdou Darboe

One of the finest of the 2007 generation of Gambian footballers, Abdou Darboe morphed from talk of the town to whispers of the village.

Playing for First Division club Armed Forces, the forward was not only then the sparkling diamond of hometown Brikama, but one of the key stars of Gambia’s Young Scorpions.

However, a career tipped for stardom suddenly took a detour, veering off track to the football graveyard.

The culture of silence, Gambia players who’d try crafting a trade in Europe and failed, adopt, makes it all too difficult to decipher.

As a result, Darboe’s fall from grace has had many searching for answers to this day.

It all started when he earned a move to Norway, signing a pre-contract agreement with premier league Honesfoss BK in April 2009.

The transfer was reportedly engineered by the player’s erstwhile representative, a certain Senegalese-born Youssoupha Fall.

December of that year, he was billed to ink the dotted lines on a four-year deal when he would have turned 18.

But barely two years into his agreed four-year deal, Darboe left Honefoss on the back of a loan spell with second tier Norwegian outfit Mjøndalen.

A move to Tonsberg, another second division side in the Scandinavian country, followed but he soon left again after 24 months there.

What prompted his decision to leave Norway where matters were already brightening for him wasn’t made public.

However, six years on to this day, Abdou has revealed what went amiss in an interview with Norwegian paper VN.se just after newly joining Swedish fourth division and Varnamo-based club Bredaryds IK.

‘I went to Tonsberg. When the agent (the middleman who facilitated his transfer), he left.

‘I searched him for a month and left him a voice message on his answering machine. But he never called back. He had told the new club (Tonsberg) that I had a working visa for a long period but I did not. So finally there was no continuation in Norway,’ Darboe says.

Asked whether he still has resentment towards the agent, Abdou continued, ‘I do not feel any hatred against the agent. I am a Muslim and a real Muslim should not hurt another person. But it is between him and God now.’

The 26-year-old, now based in Sweden, may not be his former slimmed self –putting on few pounds on weight – but still has an eye for goal.

Recently, he scored a hat trick for his lowly side Bredaryds and is one of the finest in the division there.