Kamil Conteh


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It seems he is making a good impression at Gateshead.

Middlesbrough youngster Kamil Conteh discusses his time at Gateshead, why his loan spell in non-league will help his development and his hopes for the future.

The wind howled across the International Stadium as a nervous tension masquerading as near-silence emanated from the Gateshead supporters.

A chance to move within 90 minutes of a visit to Wembley Stadium lay within their side’s grasp as on-loan Middlesbrough youngster Kamil Conteh strode forward from the centre-circle, leaving his team-mates behind and embarking on what should have been a nerve-racking walk to the penalty spot.

The tension in the stands seemed to be a complete contrast to the emotions being shown by the young midfielder, as he took his time in placing the ball on the spot, taking four or five steps back and assessing a scene that contained only Farsley Celtic goalkeeper Tom Morgan, referee Gareth Rhodes and a net waiting to be found.

Showing the belief and confidence many key individuals at Gateshead have already identified in the 20-year-old, Conteh made no mistake, dispatching his spot-kick with aplomb to claim a penalty shoot-out win for his side and set up next weekend’s semi-final home tie with Barnet.

The goal marked the next step in what has already been an impressive loan spell for the four-times capped Sierra Leone international, who joined Middlesbrough from Championship rivals Watford last summer before agreeing to a temporary stint in the National League with the Heed.

His impact has been clear to see, with his enthusiasm, confidence and ability drawing praise from Gateshead player-manager Mike Williamson and captain Greg Olley.

“Kam has been brilliant for us,” explained former Newcastle United defender Williamson. “It’s part of his development and I’ve been on at him to keep it simple at times but he’s a monster, he’s so powerful and we are really pleased with him. He’s a big character in the changing room, he has a lot of charisma and a lot of energy. I would be interested to see what his ceiling is in his development because he is just a pleasure to work with and he so much ability and the right mentality.”

Olley gave a further insight into Conteh’s impact in the changing room, saying: “Kamil is a big personality and I don’t have a bad word to say about him. He involved everyone, he gets around everyone, he’s always smiling, he brings an infectious energy and I can’t speak highly enough of him. Most of all, he wants to impress on the pitch and he has been doing that by adapting to different roles he is asked to play and doing exactly what is asked of him. He can go a long way.”

Embarking on a loan spell can bring out the selfish side in some young player. After all, the aim of such a move is all about personal development and returning to a parent club as a better player, rather than putting the needs of the temporary employers at the front of their mind.

This could not be further from the truth for Conteh, who has embraced the community feel at Gateshead and their supporters. So much so, that he snubbed offers from elsewhere to extend his initial two-month stay at the International Stadium, describing the move to the south bank of the Tyne as ‘the best thing he could have done’.

Speaking before heading on international duty with Sierra Leone, he explained: “When I came in October, the plan was only to stay until December and get as many games under my belt as I can and improve myself. There was interest in January, I could have gone elsewhere, but I needed to be playing and playing week-in, week-out.

“I’m enjoying it here. I had to get used to the league, to the team, I’m playing higher up, impacting on the game and I need to be affecting every game with goals, assists, doing the defensive side of the game. If I do that, I can only go up and taking this loan has been the best thing I could have done.”

Conteh has forged strong relationships with people at all levels of the National League club over the last five months. Watching the warmth and affection show towards the Boro youngster from team-mates, supporters and club directors has become a regular feature of matchday and it seems those feelings are mutual.

He said: “The supporters and the club have been great for me, I just want to do my best for them. And I love the gaffer, I look speaking to him everyday, I show him love for what he’s done and what he’s doing. Everything he tells me, I just take it all in because of where he has been.

“He tells me things he wants, he tells me how I can improve, so does Rob (Elliot), and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here. I couldn’t have better people helping me during my time here. I’m not here for long, but I know it is helping me.”

With Gateshead still in the midst of a relegation battle in Non-League football’s top tier, it seems inevitable Conteh will return to Middlesbrough once his loan spell comes to a close at the end of the season. What lies ahead, whether that be a further loan stint in the Football League or an opportunity to shine at first-team level remains to be seen. But one thing is certain, no matter what he does from this point onwards, the young midfielder will reflect on his spell at Gateshead with nothing but positive thoughts.

“Next season, I’m not too sure what will happen, whether that’s staying at Middlesbrough or going out on loan again. But wherever I go, everything I have learnt here, will only help me for the future.”

That future is certainly looking very bright for this Boro youngster.
"he’s a monster, he’s so powerful"

Good, something we lack in nearly every position. Hopefully he gets another loan further up the pyramid, or impresses enough in pre-season to make the squad.
Well we have had a few kamils playing in midfield over the years, one more wouldn’t be a surprise 😉
Watching the game.. He's a big lad but he's not really had much of the ball. As I type this he's just had a few tidy touches. Seems like he needs a better team around him if you know what I mean.
Like a local Sunday league game. Fluke goal for Halifax, goalkeeper clearance hits forward and ball rolls into the net.
Gateshead squad decimated by loanees returning to other clubs, they only have 13 players to call on and one of the subs is a keeper
Conteh is Gateshead player of the season. Can he produce anything at a higher level?
From the Mirror

“Conteh attracting EFL interest​

Barnsley and Colchester are keeping tabs on Middlesbrough midfielder Kamil Conteh ahead of the summer transfer window.

Conteh, 20, spent time with Crystal Palace as a teenager before joining Watford as a scholar. He signed his first professional deal with the Hornets and made his senior debut in the FA Cup against Leicester City before Boro swooped to snap up the youngster after he was released last summer.

The Sierra Leone international is poised to return to the Riverside after impressing during a loan spell with Gateshead, but he has plenty of admirers elsewhere.

Conteh caught the eye during his stint in the National League and a host of EFL clubs were watching on with interest as he featured in Sunday's FA Trophy final at Wembley, which Halifax Town won 1-0.”
Dont forget:
Macca Langstaff moved with Cedwyn Scott from Gateshead last summer.
Langstaff was top scorer with 42 goals and player of the season in the National League.
Scott scored Notts winning goal with the last kick at Wembley, to send Notts back to the Football League.
There is tallent outside the official EFL(y)
Suppose the whole point of our academy/youth/U23 set up is to develop players for the first team or sell them on, make money.

Conteh was getting good reviews at National League level so questions had to be asked was he really good enough for top end Championship?

Club must have thought not.

Good luck to the lad 👍