Assan Ceesay’s Journey from playing Football on the street to becoming The Gambia National Team top scorer

Starting football on the streets of Banjul (The capital of The Gambia), Assan Ceesay’s dream of becoming a professional footballer was never washed away despite the limited resources available for football in his country.

Many knew his talent, sportive skills, and eye for goal at an early stage.
Assan, nicknamed Torres, grew his skills from playing interschool’s tournament to nationwide competitions (Nawettan) and eventually becoming a professional footballer– beyond The Gambia’s shores. Currently, he plays for Switzerland’s FC Zurich.

After successfully making it to coach Tom Saintfier’s final list for AFCON qualifiers 2022-, Assan Ceesay has made The Gambia proud more than ever. The Gambia qualification to the African Cup of Nations 2022-was a result of teamwork and his goal.
The Sisters Show had a conversation with the skillful player–where he took us through his football career, including challenges and motivations that keep him going.

The following interview was edited for clarity.

The Sisters Show

Congratulations on your win! That was a big one for The Gambia.
How did you felt when the game ended, knowing that your goal took Gambia to AFCON 2022?

Assan Ceesay

First of all, I need to thank family and the Gambian people for their support and belief throughout this journey. I feel so blessed and happy to score the goal that took my country to the AFCON, but thanks to my teammates, this couldn’t be possible without them.

The Sisters Show

What made you choose football, and who Inspired you?

Assan Ceesay

It was just that l loved the game personally since I was young during school days, but my favorite player is Fernando Torres-, he inspired me a lot.

The Sisters Show

Please share with us your football journey a bit. Starting off the streets, to Naweetan to becoming a professional player, how was the journey like?

Assan Ceesay

My career journey was a never-give-up and challenging one. From Banjul Nawetan to Zonal, I proved myself and worked hard for it while believing in myself. After high school, I joined the Gamtel Football club, where I spent three years, won some trophies, and became the leading goal scorer for the team. I moved to Senegal, challenges came up, of course, but I didn’t regret it. After one year and few months, I went to Europe to sign a professional contract with Lugano. I first joined the National Team in 2013, when we played against Tanzania. Since then, it has been an incredible journey, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I am also proud to be the all-time top scorer  of the Gambia National Team.

Assan with his international Teammates
Photo: Assan’s Facebook

The Sisters Show

Let’s talk about the Gambian society in brief when it comes to career choice. Most families see a professional career as been a Lawyer, Banker, or Doctor, to name a few.
How did your family react when getting into football?

Assan Ceesay

My family plays a big part in my career because of them and their support; I’m here today. They didn’t choose for me, they let me decide what I wanted to be, and they kept supporting me up to date, and I’m pleased with them.

The Sisters Show

What three things motivate you to train more and work on your skills?

Assan Ceesay

To make my family proud.
Follow my dream
And achieve more in football.

The Sisters Show

If you had the chance to meet the fallen heroes of Gambian football like Birri Birri or Bonu Johnson after Gambia’s qualification, what will you tell them?

Assan Ceesay

I will thank them. Bonu Jonshon was the National Team coach when I just joined the team, and he did a lot for Gambian football; we can’t thank him enough, likewise Birri Birri. I received a lot of advice from them both while they were alive.
Big thanks to them even though they’re not here anymore, but their legacy will stay forever.

Related Topic: Gambia’s Qualification To AFCON 2022: A Win Worth Dedicating To Fallen Heroes Of Gambian Football

 

The Sisters Show

Now that the Gambia has qualified, what will you tell the Gambian people, especially the government?

Assan Ceesay

Everyone knows what we have done, they all know it, they played a big part in it. However, We need the government’s support and The Gambian people at large, especially finance. In football, you must be financially strong when you want to achieve unforgettable victories.

 

Fast Four

The Sisters Show

Out of the professional world, soccer, basketball, or tennis?

Assan Ceesay

Basketball is my favorite because of LeBron James

The Sisters Show

What profession will you have done if you were not playing football?

Assan Ceesay

Hmmm, I don’t know because football was everything for me.

The Sisters Show

Your dream team?

Liverpool is my dream team.

The Sisters Show

Your favorite artist?

Assan Ceesay

I don’t have one, though, lol.

Youssou Ndour, Thione Secka, Musa Ngom, T Smallz, Jizzle, ST, Dave Now.

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