By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Football is a male-dominated game in The Gambia, and it is widely conceived as a game for boys. Only a few female footballers will make headway in football without being stereotyped. For some female footballers in The Gambia, they will have a brief career and then retire to become wives. However, for Agie Jallow, a 19-year-old Brikama United Female team Captain at the apex of Gambian football, playing on the pitch is just the threshold of her dreams in the game.
The 19-year-old agile midfielder began stimulating her dreams as a footballer at the age of 8 when she played for the Lamin Daranka Primary School team in Lamin. Being the only footballer in a family where education is the priority, Agie faced a stiff challenge from her family. She would be advised to stop playing football and focus on her academics and be like her other siblings.
“That was a tough moment and beginning for me. My family members are either going to school or working, so they will always advise me to stop football and be like them. But, I have a different dream in life which is in me. This has been driving me all these while”, she told TFN.
Agie, like in any success story, will be persistent and tenacious in her dreams of becoming a footballer from that younger age until today when she Is a captain of a first division team and a trained coach coaching boys. When asked about her reaction to the advice of her family at the beginning, Agie said:
“All that I told that was and still is that I will make them proud. Football is dear to me and I know exactly what I want in the game and how that will help me fulfil my dreams as a citizen of the world. I am still with the conviction I will make them proud and that they will one recall my words in joy”.
Goes with her moniker Toni Kroos, the star player created her path through and joined Gambia Football Federation Division One league female team, Brikama United football club. Within a short while in the team, she became the captain of the club. The family, after realising her non-stop hunting of her dreams, started giving Agie support.
As a footballer in the middle of the pitch, Agie jostles for every ball. She is a good dribbler endowed with skills at long-range passes. She scored and assisted a couple of goals for the Brikama United Female team.
Like a dream of every footballer in the country, Agie has her eyes on becoming a professional footballer in the not-too-distant future and representing The Gambia in the national team.
Dwelling in Brufut, the 19-year-old footballer understands that she will not be playing football all her life, thus she began rooting something for in her life that she will depend on after her career as a footballer.
” I know there is life after running on the pitch as a footballer. Knowing that full well, I have started by doing training in coaching and currently, I am a coach of a male team here in Brufut”, the determined Agie said.
She has a basic D license and a C license in Coaching. According to Agie, her understanding and passion for the game will make her a better coach. She explained that she has all that it takes to be a great coach.
When the young Agie amassed her C licence in coaching, she was given a male team in Brufut named Uprising FC. The team plays “Naweetan”, a grassroots football competition in the town.
Despite being a female and a young footballer herself, Agie will horn the skills of these boys whenever the season is off and maintain her fitness.
” I keep my fitness with them. Because when I am training them on the pitch, I will do most of the exercises with them. Happily, they are not looking at my age and gender, but looking at me as a coach”, she explained.
Agie’s gigantic dreams do not stop at being a footballer and a football coach but at becoming a football administrator as well. In chasing this, Agie is bracing up to study Public Administration to propel herself academically to another status and be a good football administrator.
” Hopefully, when I graduate with a degree in Public Administration, I can be a good football administrator to help young people in the country realise their dreams”. According to her, she is will stand firm on her dreams of actualizing her dreams in a male-dominated game.
At age 19, Agie is a captain of a female first Division Football Club in the Gambia, a trained football coach with a dream of reading Public Administration soon.