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By Lamin Drammeh

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Scorpions trio Modou Barrow, Omar Colley and Hamza Barry are shortlisted to be crowned foreign based athlete of the year award.

They are nominated by the Sports Journalists Association of the Gambia as part of it’s annual award. The prestigious award and gala-night is meant to honor past and present sports personalities for their outstanding achievement over the year.

The three footballers made the list following a thorough assessment on their achievement in their respective clubs over the past 12 months.

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We look at the performance and achievement of each of the nominee for the award:

1. Modou Barrow:


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The scale of Barrow’s contribution to Swansea football club cannot be underestimated.
Watching him play in Europe’s biggest league has been the greatest honor for his country.

He is arguably the most decorated footballer in the country and the only Gambian footballer to have ever played and scored in the English Premier League.

In 2008, Barrow’s compatriot Omar Koroma, came very close to achieving that landmark for Portsmouth but unfortunately, he did not make any appearance.

Barrow, nicknamed MO, was signed by Swansea City in 2014 from the Swedes side Ostersunds FK for a fee believed to be around £1.5M.
He made his premier League debut after coming off the bench in Swansea 2-1 home win against Arsenal.

The pacy attacker Barrow who preferred Gamba over Sweden was on target for Swansea City in the 6-2 victory against Tranmere Rovers in the FA cup third round.

He was offered a four-year- contact which will keep him at Swansea until 2019.

He was sent on loan to Blackburn Rovers after be became surplus to requirement at the Liberty Stadium and made his Rovers debut in the 2-1 home defeat against Shrewbury Town in the first round of the league cup before returning to Liberty Stadium.

Barrow who was strongly linked with a move to a number of top European clubs has played 20 league games for Swansea in the 2016/17 season.
But his fall out with manager Paul Clement limited his playing chances.

On January, 31, 2017, (Transfer dateline day), MO, move to Leeds United in the English championship and signed a loan deal until the end of the season.


Barrow’s brilliant performances with Swansea earned him a call up to the Sweden U-21 national team but he pulled out of the team through injury.

In 2015, he opted to play for Gambia’s Scorpions after he rejected the chance to play for the Swedish national team.
He later took to twitter to announce his decision to represent the Gambia’s Scorpions.

He made his scorpions debut in the 0-0 draw away to South Africa in the Caf qualifying round. Barrow went on to play six times for the Scorpions including the 2-1 friendly game win against Central Africa Republic in which he scored his first goal in a Scorpions shirt.



{A}. Omar is another strong contender to win the SJAG award. He has been a focal point of Djurgarden and KRC Genk defense over the last 12 months.
Kolley moved to Genk from Djurgarden last season, two years after signing his first professional contract with Finish club Kups from Wallidan.

His performance for Racing Genk in the Europa League have brought him to the attention of a number of premier League, serie A and Bundesliga clubs all keen to lure the talented defender away from Genk.


Kolley nicknamed OJ, was a key member of the 2009 Caf U-17 team that won the youth championship in Algeria. He also travelled with the Gambia U-20 national team to caf youth championship in South Africa in 2011.

The-25-year-old Centre back who made his Scorpions debut in 2012 is currently the captain of coach Sang Ndong’s team.



{A}. Hamza was signed by Maltese club Valletta from domestic club Gambia Ports Authority in 2013 and made his debut in a 2-1 win against Mosta. He was named the best young player of 2014/15 season by the Maltan FA following an impressive debut season. The former U-20 hit man went on to scored 16 league goals for Valletta including a brace against Pieta Hotspurs.

After brilliantly performing for Valletta, Barry was offered a new deal by Valletta but he chosed to leave the club in favor of a move to Cypriot club Apollon Limassol on a one-year contract in 2015/16 season.

The 23-year-old skilful midfielder was later sent on loan to Maccabi Natanya in Israel and then another loan spell at Napoel Tel Aviv and Hajduk Split. He was a key member of Split side that won the league and FA cup titles as Hajduk won the double.


The former U-17 and U-20 star midfielder made his Scorpions debut in 2013 and has since appeared several times for the Scorpions.

Pa Modou Jagne who plays his trade with FC Sion in the Swiss Super League won the award last season.

The Full list of the nominees in the other categories will be published in our subsequent publications.

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