By: Baboucarr Camara
Gambian midfielder Yankuba ‘Mal’ Ceesay continues his trials with Finnish Veikkausliiga (premier league) side KuPS by playing the whole game in a 4-0 preseason win over fellow Finnish top flight side SKJ (Seinajoen Jalkapallokerho) at the weekend.
The Gambian international who was released by Estonian champions Nomme Kalju after the end of his two-year contract in September arrived in Finland on Thursday on the invitation of KuPS’ head coach Esa Pekonen and will be observed before they decide on his long-term future.
Defender Omar Colley is currently the only Gambian officially in the books of the Finnish giants after Dawda Bah left the club at the end of last season. The former FC Augsburg midfielder (Bah) is this week linked with a move to the Indonesian premier league.
Ceesay, who is managed by football agency firm the AsiaEurope Football Group in the United Kingdom, played as a youngster with boyhood club Banjul Wallidan and later moved to Cyprus but came to international attention while playing for Peruvian top flight side Alianza Atlético of Peru in 2007, becoming the first Gambian to play professional football in Latin America. He also had a brief trial with Walsall during January of 2008 before joining Swedish club Degerfors IF.
But after less than a year into a 24-month deal with Degerfors, the Swedish club announced at the end of the 2008 season that they have parted company with the Gambian on mutual consent. Degerfors said at the time that both parties failed to terminate the contract after “Ceesay never provided the force the team had hoped for,” as a result of injuries, combined with the long-term mission of the club.
But even before the club confirmed the termination of the deal, the Gambian revealed several weeks earlier that he wanted to leave after Degerfors were relegated to the third tier of the Swedish league. Mal said at the time that he intended to seek a new challenge elsewhere since playing third division football was not appealing to him.
Mal in the past had trials with Charlton Athletic and Leyton Orient in January 2013. Mal has also played in every category of the Gambian youth teams before he was finally promoted to the first team in 2008.