Sierra Leone will travel to Liberia today to face the hosts in a friendly tomorrow. The Leone Stars will be playing their first match since last year when they failed to qualify for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations on the final day.
It will also be the first time the team plays under the new manager John Keister, a former international, who was handed the mantle a couple of weeks back.
Leone Stars will be using the tie to get in shape ahead of their first ever meeting with Kenya’s Harambee Stars in the 2019 Cameroon AFCON qualifying matches on 10th June.
Liberia have a date with Gabon qualifiers the Warriors of Zimbabwe a day later in Harare.
Keister named a squad of twenty – largely local-based for the match against Liberia. However, in his initial provisional squad for the Kenya clash was entirely foreign-based.
More foreign based players are expected in camp in Freetown from Monday after the warm-up.
Harambee Stars on the other hand will not play any build-up before the opening group F match. The coach Stanley Okumbi’s charges were initially scheduled to take on Angola on 3rd June, however, the friendly aborted after Angola bolted out.
Nonetheless, there’s no cause for worry for the East Africans, who are currently ranked 74th in the latest FIFA ranking, as they have been regularly playing during international breaks since 2016.
Besides, the Angola tie was solely geared towards preparing the CHAN 2018 team. Kenya will host the 2018 CHAN and by virtue of being hosts have qualified for the continental championship meant for home-based professionals.
Kenya have not qualified for AFCON since 2004 when they graced the Tunisia edition.
Leone Stars’ squad to Liberia:
1. Ibrahim Bangura
2. Issac Caulker
3. Yeamie Dunia
4. Mohamed L. Bangura
5. Abu Bakarr Suma
6. Kemson Fofanah
7. Mohamed Kamanor
8. Julius Gobah
9. Abu Bakarr Samura
10. Abu Kanu
11. Ibrahim S. Barrie
12. Khalifa Jabbie
13. Nathaniel T. Fullah
14. John Caulker
15. Alfred Nyuma
16. Donald Wellington
17. Abdul Bangura
18. Mamoud Fofanah
19. Thomas Koroma
20. George Davies
21. Mohamed B. Freeman- Head of delegation
22. Alusine Kabba- Welfare Officer
23. Ibrahim Kamara- Media Officer
24. James W. Kanu- Ministry of Sports Rep.
25. John keister- Head Coach
26. Amidu Karim- Asst. Coach
27. John Samah- Asst. Coach 2
28. Prince T. Moses- Goalkeeper Coach
29. Yusuf U. Kamara- Team Doctor