Ebrima Darboe’s superb run to the season for Roma’s Primavera side has been rewarded with a first Scorpions call-up.
The youngster is included in a 37-man provisional squad to be announced today by Tom Saintfiet for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations matches against Gabon.
The 19-year-old midfielder who arrived in Italy from the Gambia as a young migrant without his parent will is already tipped for a place in the final squad.
“I’m proud to represent my country, my people who have always supported me in my long battle,” Darboe told Point Sports. “I will always give my best for our colors and our homeland.
“Every athlete needs constant stimulation to move forward.
“The call of your national team represents a great goal that gives you motivation and emotional growth.”
Forwards Ali Sowe and Yusupha Njie have not been selected by Saintfiet who is sticking to his recent team.
Born in the Gambia in 2001, Ebrima was registered with the SPRAR project (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) after arriving in Italy and was immediately assigned a social worker by the courts.
After beginning to play for the amateur team Young Rieti, the teenager continued his Italian education before eventually having a trial at Roma.
After joining the Giallorossi, Ebrima made his Primavera debut in early 2019.
The young midfielder signed a professional contract with Roma in July 2019, a moment he described as “fulfilling a dream”.
Goalkeeper Modou Jobe, Bubacarr ‘Steve’ Trawally, Mohammed Badamosi and Modou Barrow are all expected to return.
Gabon boss Patrice Neveu last week unveiled his 23-man squad to face the Scorpions, which is headlined by captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.