Senegal Teranga Lions managed to attract his two elder brothers, Lys and Alfred Gomis who defended their goal in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2019 final against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium. But Maurice Gomis went to seek another option to taste the most prestigious of African competitions, the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations where he will represent Djurtus of Guinea Bissau.
Called for the first-time last May, Maurice Gomis was included this Thursday in Guinea Bissau list of 24 players heading to the TotalEnergies 2021, which will take place from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.
Before him but with the Senegal, Lys Gomis, the eldest of a family of four boys – all goalkeepers, had discovered the AFCON in 2015 with the Teranga Lions in Equatorial Guinea.
Alongside Bouna Coundoul and Pape Demba Camara, Lys was one of the three goalkeepers then selected by French tactician Alain Giresse, then Senegal coach.
While he didn’t play a minute in this competition that saw Senegal exit from the group stage, that won’t be the case for his younger brother, Alfred also born in Ziguinchor in southern Senegal, on the border region of Guinea Bissau.
After starting TotalEnergies AFCON 2019 on the bench, Alfred Gomis defended the Teranga Lions goal after the injury of first choice keeper Edouard Mendy during the warm-up against Kenya in the 3rd group match.
An injury which forced Edouard Mendy, current Chelsea goalkeeper to withdraw from the competition, and saw Alfred Gomis becoming Senegal guardian all the way to the final.
It was unfortunate that their father Charles, who died in 2016, was not present to follow the development of his child in this competition.
Charles, who first played in the national championship, chose to play abroad in Italy to make his career as a footballer.
A career abandoned due to the clubs not showing interest while the needs to feed his family became more and more pressing.
His family settled in Ziguinchor, located about thirty kilometers from the border with Guinea Bissau, had ended up joining him in 1996 in Italy, where Maurice and David were the youngest of the family.
Charles Gomis managed to teach his young sons the basics of the goalkeeper profession.
He occasionally introduced them to officials at the Senegalese Football Federation and local journalists to get them to wear the Senegal jersey.
He succeeded with Lys Gomis, now a goalkeeper coach, and Alfred Gomis who plays for Rennes, France, and who both started their professional career in Italy. But Maurice Gomis, who also started in Italy with SPAL before moving to Cyprus, preferred to go and try his luck with Guinea Bissau.
Summoned for the first time by Djurtus coach Baciro Candé for a friendly match against Cape Verde, he was only able to join his mother’s country-side last May.
In Cameroon, the Ayia Napa FC (Cyprus) goalkeeper will face Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan in Group D, hoping to go past this stage for the first time in Guinea Bissau history. This might earn him a possible confrontation against Senegal and his brother, Alfred Gomis.
It is still unclear which choice will the last of the siblings, David who also plays as goalkeeper, make later.
But whatever the choice of one or the other, the father would be proud to have wanted that his children never lose the connection with the country and their continent of origin.