- Monday, 26 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambia international striker Cherno Samba has signed a contract with Norwegian Oddsenligaen [third tier] side FK Tønsberg, Gambia Sports Online can exclusively reveal.
The attacker signed a deal that will see him at the club till the end of the season with an option to extend.
“This is a perfect place for a fresh start. A place I can have fun with football again,” a smiling Cherno Samba said in an interview.
For Cherno, he believes that he will help to steer Tønsberg’s promotion ambition by scoring goals for them and his experience can be useful to other young players.
Cherno said, “I can definitely help with the scoring for Tønsberg. And I hope my experience can be useful for the others. Talent never disappears, but the mental and physical must be in place. I think that I shall find it here.”
“I hope he scores more than 40 goals for us and is sold for a good amount when his contract expires,” a smiling Tønsberg head coach Geir Midtsian said.
Midtsian was quick to add that Tønsberg will be looking to cash in the player when his deal expires at the end of the season. He said, “Samba will be clubless at the end of his deal and is free to Tønsberg, but the club’s chasing investors will buy shares in the player.”
“We are aware that we are taking a chance, in the form that he can disappear quickly, but then it will be because he has delivered for us. In the meantime, we’ll help Cherno back, as he is a player who can help us on many levels,” Midtsian added.
The Gambia international had a brief trial with English Conference National side Forest Green Rovers and played series of matches for the side. He was handed a straight go into the first team against English Championship side Bristol City.
After almost a two weeks period, Cherno appeared to give little selection headache to Rovers’ manager Dave Hockaday who after much thought gave him a second chance but nothing came out of his trial. He also had trials with another Conference National side Alfreton Town.
The much travelled Cherno Samba, 26, has played for Spanish side Atlético Malagueño [FC Malaga’s B team]. He returned to English football after Ian Holloway signed him on a free on transfer deadline day, August 2006 for Plymouth Argyle, signing him to a two-year contract.
Samba made his Football League debut on 30 September 2006 as a second half substitute (74th minute) at the Ricoh Arena against Coventry City, and within eight minutes he scored his first League goal in a 1-0 win for Argyle.
In January 2007, he joined Wrexham on loan for a month with the option to extend to the end of the season, but returned to Plymouth before signing an eighteen month contract with Finnish side FC Haka.
In 2009, he returned to England on trial with various English clubs including Norwich City and Portsmouth, he then signed a two-year contract with Greek second division club Panetolikos FC in February 2010.
He represented England at every youth level up to under-20 and later decided that he wanted to play for Gambia senior national team. In August 2008, he was called up to the Gambia squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Liberia and on 6 September 2008, he made his first appearance for Gambia as he played the final minutes of the match.
He scored his first goal for the Scorpions in a friendly against Tunisia on 9 January 2010 when he headed in a Sanna Nyassi cross to open the scoring. The goal was made all the more special for Samba as it came on the eve of his 25th birthday.
His most recent international appearance was versus Mexico in June 2010 and was named in the Scorpions’ squad for the 2010/11 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
About FK Tønsberg
FK Tønsberg is a football club from Tønsberg, Norway, currently playing in the third tier of Norwegian football. It was founded on 10 October 2001 as a cooperation project between 20 local clubs.
The new team replaced Eik Idrettsforening Tønsberg in the Norwegian Oddsenligaen beginning in the 2002 season. The first player to sign for the team was Anders Skarbøvik, the former team captain.
FK Tønsberg came second in their Oddsenligaen group in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 they hired experienced coach Reine Almqvist who won the group and was promoted to the Adeccoligaen [second tier]. Unfortunately they were relegated after only one season, and have played in the Oddsenligaen since.