Emmanuel Gomez arrives in Toronto
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Gambian defender Emmanuel Gomez has arrived in Toronto last week and has been working in the gym and training with the academy senior team as he finalises immigration documents.
The 18-year-old defender, who was earlier this month signed from Gambia First Division giants Samger, will join the first team players on Monday when they return from the Carolina Cup. "I'm really happy about the move and it is a dream come true for me," he told TorontoFC.ca. "I am the happiest man on the earth. Since I joined Samger back in the Gambia, it has always been my dream to play well and be good enough to join a big club. I played with Samger for five years before I was scouted by Toronto."
Before joining Toronto, Gomez was a fixture in his club side and also a regular member of the Gambian Under 20 team. He was in the squad that competed in qualification for the 2009 African Youth Championship, and has also been selected to train with the senior team.
I now have 9 caps for the Gambia Under-20s and it is my target to get into the Gambia National Team," he said. "In Gambia soccer is a big game and there is huge talent there. Hopefully playing here will help me to get into the national team." Gomez has played most of his career as a central defender and is setting himself high targets. "I have big goals and want to settle in quickly and challenge to be in the first team in two or three months. For me, I always want to be myself, but I love Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United. He is always good at the back and I have learned from him. I love to play defence and have played there since I was a child. With different coaches I have played right back and also midfield, but defence is my favourite position. I love hard tackles and winning balls but I also want to play the ball and move it around," explained Gomez.
He has spent the last few days acclimatising to Toronto and recovering from a week of travelling. "The players here are a bit sharper than me right now, but I have been travelling for a week to get here. I started by travelling by land for eight hours to Dakar in Senegal and then flew to Accra in Ghana. I was there for five days before flying for 15 hours to Germany and then to Toronto. I like the city here and all of the people have been very nice to me so far."
Gomez will see a familiar face when the team arrive back in Toronto on Monday. Fellow Gambian Under-20 defender Amadou Sanyang also signed for Toronto recently from Real de Banjul. "I know Amadou because I play in the national team Under-20s with him. We spoke about moving to Toronto for a few minutes when I went to his home in the Gambia. Having him here will really help me and push me because he is a nice guy."
Gomez can't wait to get on the pitch at BMO Field and experience playing in a Toronto FC home game. "I can see Toronto FC fans are great and are mad supporters of the team. I love playing with a good atmosphere. Before I came here I played in the Super Cup in Gambia in front of 2000 people but the best atmosphere I have played in so far was in Ghana with the Gambia in a U-20 qualifier last year. It was very loud and I couldn't even hear my teammates talking to me on the pitch," he said.
Author: By Nanama Keita