Modou Lamin BEYAI
Gambian forward Ousman Manneh is pushing for a place in coach Viktor Skrypnyk’s team after scoring four times in fifteen minutes for Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen in a pre-season friendly.
The 18-year-old former Rush Academy product arrived in Germany as an illegal migrant to join Bremen-Liga (fifth-tier) side Blumenthaler SV before recently completing a three-year move to Werder Bremen’s reserve team (U23).
He impressed the Bundesliga club’s third tier side and made a major impact on his first appearance for the senior team this week when he scored four goals in 15 minutes in a 7-0 friendly victory over minnows SV Wilhelmshaven.
Manneh told Bremen-based newspaper Kreiszeitung after his exploits that: “This here (playing with the first team and in the Bundesliga) is where I want to be and I’m working hard for it.”
The 1.90 m Ginak Kajata-born forward added: “If I get a chance (to play in the Bundesliga), I’ll go for it!”
Bremen’s first team squad heads to England this weekend for a pre-season friendly with London club West Ham United, a trip the Gambian is hoping to make though yet to be decided according to former Germany international Torsten Frings, who currently works as assistant coach at the club.
“It’s possible that he starts training with us immediately. There is also the question of whether he makes the trip to London so we can test him there,” Frings said, adding, “He called a lot of attention to himself and has shown that he can be interesting for us too. He’s on our (first team) radar.”
But any hopes of Manneh featuring in Bremen’s Bundesliga squad despite his goals remains to be seen as head coach Skrypnyk told Cologne-based Sport-Informations-Dienst news agency: “Should he continue to make a name for himself in the third league, I am fully convinced that he can not only train with us but also play.”
Skrypnyk however warns that talent “counts for only 20 percent” for players looking to make the step up saying that Manneh needs to keep working hard and “meticulously.”