Today it became clear that Dadi Dodou Gaye (28) is replacing the jersey with the one red pole for the red and white-striped Tromsø kit.

After a record-breaking process from contact to contract, he is in place in Tromsø for the first session this morning. Dodou thus moves up from 3rd place in the OBOS league to 3rd place in the Eliteserien with the stroke of a pen.

The 28-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the club, which has impressed many this season.

– I have mixed feelings here and now, says Dodou on the phone from Tromsø.

– It hurts to leave Kåffa, but it’s great fun to get such an opportunity. In a club that has done so well, and on a team that is quite similar in style to what I am familiar with from YMCA. The opportunity was simply too good to say no. It has been a dream to play at the top level, and now I got that chance.

Arrived in 2017
Dodou joined the YMCA before the 2017 season after visiting several clubs early in his senior career. In Kåffa, however, the Holmlia boy settled down.

He made his debut at home against Bærum in the PostNord league in the spring of 2017, and has gradually become a veteran, leader and continuity bearer in Kåffa. When he now completes his YMCA career, he stops at 184 games, with over 100 of them in the OBOS league. 

After relegation from the OBOS league in 2016, Dodou became central in building up the “new” YMCA under Jørgen Isnes’ leadership, where we again moved up to the second highest level in autumn 2018. Through what he showed in the YMCA kit, Dodou also made his debut for the Gambia national team.

In addition to being a profile with many minutes on the pitch, over the years he has become a hero among the children at the club through many hours of work at the academy.

– As I said, it hurts to leave the YMCA. I have had a wonderful everyday life here for many years. With all the people around. Players, coaches and managers, but also everyone I’ve met in the hallways, everyone in the office. I wish the club the best of luck going forward, and really hope the boys manage promotion, says Dodou.

Welcome back!
For YMCA, it is of course a great loss to lose Dodou at the start of the season where the goal is to keep up with the fight for promotion to the Eliteserien.

– It is not with a light heart that we let go of a player and a type like Dodou, but now that it has become like this, we of course wish him the best of luck with new challenges. Dodou is a “Kåffa boy” who will always be welcome back should the need arise. Despite this transition, we have great faith that the group we have here will be involved right into the promotion battle, says Daniel Fredheim Holm, who leads the work on player logistics around the first team.

Dodou can make his debut against Rosenborg next weekend. We wish the 28-year-old the best of luck!

The midfielder made his debut in the Eliteserien as a 19-year-old and has previously moved up twice from the OBOS league to the elite. He has taken part in a couple of the most dramatic qualifying matches seen in Norwegian football and was a teammate when Erling Braut Haaland scored nine goals in one and the same World Cup match.

Adnan Hadzic is only 24 years old, but a quick search in the Horten boy’s historical archive reveals that he has achieved a lot during his football life. Most recently, he comes from Danish football.

This morning he has his first training session at the YMCA Arena.

– There is something that triggers me to come here to the YMCA, says Adnan and elaborates:

– I simply want to be part of it. The coaching staff and club are right for me. I have heard so many positive things. It’s a team that I’ve always thought was brutal to play against, and a fun team to watch play. Here there are a lot of funny footballers and lots of x-factor.

Reunion with ex-teammates
Some of these “funny” players he has had the opportunity to study up close in former clubs.

He did the development job “at home” in Ørn-Horten before the trip to Start. Then – after a period of injury – the trip went to Sandnes Ulf where he was a teammate of Nunez for a period. He then traveled to Fredrikstad where he played 30-40 games during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Here he got to know Ayoub and Obi. Otherwise, he has been to the U-national team meeting with our Emil.

It was in Start that he broke through and made his debut in the Eliteserien in 2019. His efforts in yellow and black gave him matches with the flag on his chest, for both the G18, G19 and U20 national teams. He also joined the squad that played the U20 World Cup in Poland in 2019, and that’s where he started the match against Honduras, where Haaland just as well scored nine goals in the 12-0 victory.

– It was of course very special. Both that we won 12-0 and that Haaland scored nine. At the time, it was impossible to say that he would become as big as he has become, but we did see glimpses, and he always worked extremely hard and was thoroughly professional.

Two promotions from OBOS
He would have liked to see his career take off as fast as it has for some of the others in that WC squad, but he has, after all, experienced a lot before he turns 25.

Through games in Fredrikstad, interest was aroused in Denmark and Adnan was brought to Sønderjydske and level two in Danish football.

The team had clear promotion ambitions to the Superliga, but it did not work out and with changes in the coaching staff there, it was no longer as nice to be Norwegian in Denmark.

Then it was fitting that the door opened in Kåffa.

– In me, YMCA gets a player with a good left foot. A terrier in midfield who fights for the team. A playing football player who is awake in both boxes, reads the tax return.

A quick look at his football CV shows that he is not short on goals, but he has ambitions to do something about it.

– I have to use the sledgehammer more often. I have often been third last or fourth last, so I get to get up in the ring. I hope it can work out in Kåffa, says Adnan with a smile.

A curiosity in this respect is that he is registered with one FFK score in his 36 matches. It came on a penalty kick – against YMCA – in the wild qualifying match at Fredrikstad Stadium in December 2021.

– That match there was absolutely nuts. One of the strangest things I’ve been involved in, says Adnan.

But not the weirdest thing . For the pre-Christmas drama in Plankebyen does not match the one where Start was 4-0 down against LSK in the return match and Ramsland scored three in six minutes and sent the southerners up to Eliteserien 2020.

Now he hopes that he can be part of a third promotion from the OBOS league, and this time with the YMCA. Preferably by taking a direct promotion place or we get to try our hand on the road via a little more smokescreen.

– Eliteserien next year. That is what we are betting on, says the player who has committed to Kåffa until 2025.

For coach Johannes Moesgaard, Adnan is an important piece to put in place, both ahead of an exciting autumn and for what comes next.

– There is a player I have been aware of since he was one of the best players on the pitch when we were about to be beaten by Ørn-Horten in the cup with VIF in 2017. Since then he has gained a lot of experience. He is a midfielder with a lot of energy and drive in him, says Johs.

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