Abdou Njie from Ngoyan FC to National best full-backs

Born in 11 Dobston street Abdou Njie would trade football for school. But Bacha Njie promised him, he will make it to the team despite going to school. Bowyer went to St Joseph primary school but dreamt of been a footballer. His brother Kebba Njie was a star and wanted to follow that path.

He will go on to win both FA cup and league titles with Ngoyan FC as a player and a coach. More success would follow him at the national team and with Ports Authority the only club he played for.

Wherever Kebba Njie played, Bowyer has set his eyes there. Despite Bacha Njie giving him his first debut with the team. Bowyer’s idol was Lamin sarr who played for Ngoyan, Ports Authority & the national team. Bowyer grew up watching Lamin Sarr and Lamin played a role when Bowyer was moving to Ports Authority. 

Even during the time of Aziz Corr Jnr at Ngoyan, Bowyer remained a fan of the winger. He also got inspired. As a young boy Bowyer would fetch water and carry balls for Ngoyan during training that made him not to pay gate fees whenever Ngoyan was playing. When he was first registered as a player, Bacha told him “I am only registering you to wash bips, fetch water and so on,” he protested in his heart but the little boy in his soul whispered that Bacha wants the best for me.

Bowyer was a versatile player but was known for his dominant  full-backs role. Throughout his carrier he could be used as centre back, defensive midfielder, right wing. He was physically fit thanks to his three times training scheme per day and that helped keep his fitness. He would later captain Ports Authority. He was exceptionally discipline, guided and helped lots of players during his time at Ports.

After Ngoyan, Bowyer trained with Hawks but didn’t made it because he didn’t reach their level. He thought otherwise as he believed he could play both first/second division football, he then joined Starlight and helped them promote before completing his move to Gambia Ports Authority in 2003/2004 season. At Ports he won three league titles, two FA cups and two GFF Super Cups.

Bowyer would have similar Success that he enjoyed with Ngoyan FC & Ports Authority with the national team later.

Bowyer and the U17 would win a four nation tournament in Ivory Coast. Bowyer recalled how things were tough as they would go to training without fare, washing their jerseys for themselves. That U17 trained for one complete year together and at the end they were at the same level and they were determine not to surrender their position in the U17 to any player.

Bowyer would say “everything you do with dedication you will be rewarded.”

After the triumph at Abidjan, Bowyer won a tournament against Sierre Leon.

Ice on the cake was When they defeated the host Algeria to win the U17. He could remember few players that made it happen Musa camara Matar Jobe ( Nesta ) Baseman, Omar Colley , Baboucarr Savage, Pateh Nyang,  Saikou Gassama, Ebrima Camara (striker) Dixa, Buba (Mal benzer) Alansana Camara, Douta and Cherno Njie.

Bowyer could urge they weren’t money driven because they struggled before making it at the top. He could recall the they team received almost $900 each from Seedy Kinteh. Bowyer remains adamant that the Government through its minister have to support sports.

One million dalasis would be later given to each after that Algeria victory. He recalled Yaya Jammeh speaking to the whole team assuring them if they bring the trophy home, everybody will be happy. They thought it could be plot of land or even cars but the sum of one million dalasis was out of their imagination.

Bowyer furnished his mother’s house before building a big compound for his mum with the help of his brother Kebba Njie. He vividly recalls many thought they had squandered their fortune but for him that was not the case.

Bowyer played for the CHAN team and under Paul Put.

One of Bowyer’s best match was the

U-17 qualification when they had lost 3-1 to Ghana and won the return leg with 2-0. Bowyer recall that famous U17 tournament, coming up against the host nation is never easy but they had previously beaten Algeria in the group stage by 2-0. They recorded the following wins.

Guinea 1-0, Cameroon 1-0, Malawi 3-1and beat Algeria 2-1 in the finals.

Bowyer’s greatest defeat throughout his career is the regret of not completing his education and failure to secure a professional career in Europe. “Life after football is short I regret not completing schooling because I would have had a career to concentrate on and help my family.”

“My worst feeling is not turning into a professional player, and before sitting to endured the stress I vent into coaching. I want to use my knowledge to help the kids that’s why am into coaching.”

Bowyer felt the scout that took him to Spain, didn’t fight for him. He recalls he was naive too but barely sees his agent on the ground, rather the agent was just calling. He was with Rayo Vallecano for two weeks and admitted the coach was confused because he was asked to work on offensive and defensive and he later combined both but didn’t make the cut. He had trails in Turkey too.

There is a confusion to why Abdou Njie retired from  football at this stage, a mentality that Gambians have sending players packing when they are best in their shape. Coach Alagie Sarr who had Bowyer at a very young age said Bowyer is a leader, “I pushed him to carry on. Alagie Sarr thinks Bowyer shouldn’t have taken a coaching career right now rather should have been active in football. He recalled.”Once he is not on the pitch things doesn’t work.” Alagie Sarr went on to say Bowyer did exceptionally well when Ports traveled to Congo, they wanted him to stay because of his Leadership and experience. Sarr went to say he produced a similar form and performance while Ports played in Ivory Coast and Sudan. Coach Alagie Sarr went on to say he wishes Bowyers body was well rested during his U-17 career . Ports Authority board would urge Alagie Sarr to retire Bowyer but he refused because he was a fine player. When Alagie Sarr left Ports for BK Milan, Bowyer too retired from Ports and football an argument that is still up for debate by fans.

According to Bowyer ex-teammate Cherno Njie “Bowyer is one of the best half back right in his time. He had Skills, pace, very good defensive and offensive, good at crossing and had a good stamina.

Returning Banjul glory days

#Waa Banjul it’s always big, when we lost we grief, football in the Gambia got it’s roots from Banjul but has lost its glory to kombo.

“We want to bring the glory days that’s why not only myself but George Cole and Lie Samba are into coaching, Kombo have taken the ambience, before the national team consist of Banjulians but now you just see one or two players. Now Banjul has to go to semi finals or finals before they attract the fans in zonal championship.

“None of the grounds in Banjul are good. If we have a ground that everybody will be equal and play, it will be a good thing.” 

Help the kids of Banjul and the Gambia. “They have the believe,  they have talent let them help them out of the Gambia. They are our future. The more we have lots of players playing outside The Gambia the better for the national team.”

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