Coach Christian Cole named three uncapped players against South Africa
Leone Stars head coach, Christian Cole, has named three uncapped players in his squad ahead of their qualifier against South Africa on October 10th at the National Stadium in Freetown.
Christian Cole: ambitious
The partizan Belgrade midfielder, Mohamed Medo Kamara, Parma Reserved Team Striker, Sulaiman Foulah Sesay and Alfred Sankoh of Strømsgodset FC in Norway have been included in the list of sixteen foreign based players announced last Monday in Freetown by the Leone Stars tactician.
He told Cafoline in an exclusive interview in Freetown that his decision was as a result of his constant monitoring of these players in their various clubs and leagues in Europe. “I think they deserve a call to the national team for now. Apart from the fact that they have matured in the game they are also doing very well in their respective clubs which I’m impressed with,” said the 62- year old Head Coach.
The Leone Stars Technical head who is having a third spelt in the national team since 2000 says he is building a disciplined youthful side for the future. He pointed out that he still has absolute faith in his squad that caused an upset in the group opener in Cairo and is unwilling to make changes in the team despite recent criticisms from some sections of the local media of his decision to drop-out some ‘big names’ from the team. “This is not the time to talk about big names in football, but players I believe that can deliver”. My team is a young and committed side and I want to give opportunity to these young players whom I believe are the core of our future game, “he defended.
Coach Cole whose charges pulled off a surprised 1-1 draw in Cairo against the defending champions, Egypt in the openers last month says he is not intimidated by the presence of “big names” in the Bafana Bafana squad. “We defeated them in Freetown in the last qualifiers, and this is a feat I am determined to maintain come October 10.
I watched them during the World Cup they hosted in South Africa and other competitions they have played in the past, and I know they are a very good side, but we are ready to upset them in Freetown” he optimistically stated.
The Leone Stars Manager, whose preparation programs ahead of the South Africa encounter in Freetown have come under severe criticisms from some sections of the local media and the public, told Cafoline that he is quite satisfied with the situation so far.
He said even though he has not had the opportunity to play an international friendly after the Cairo match last month, he maintained his players are in the right form to play against the South Africans. “The players I have invited are all actively playing for their clubs in Europe which I believe is good for me in the absence of trial matches. My responsibility is to tell them the system I want them to play when they assemble here” he replied.
Coach Cole, who is looking ahead of qualifying Leone Stars to their third African Cup of Nations finals in 2012 after 1994 and 1996, believes his dream will be realized if he secures the maximum points against 1996 African Cup of Nations holders. “If I win in Freetown against South Africa nothing will stop me from reaching the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012. We have started on excellent note against Egypt and we hope to build on that against South Africa. My aim is to top the group and qualify for the finals in Equatorial and Gabon for the third time in history.
Meanwhile, Coach Christian Cole has already imposed a two match suspension and a fine of Two Hundred US Dollars each on two of his players that featured in the Leone Stars, Egypt match in Cairo for an act of indiscipline.
The two players are Kei Kamara who plays his club football for Kansas City Wizards in the United States and Albert Jarrett for Lincoln city F.C. in England. The players were dropped out of the squad after being found wanting for acts of indiscipline against members of the Leone Stars technical Staff and a government Deputy Minister who traveled with the team in their recent trip to Cairo in the openers. “I don’t want to encourage indiscipline, he said, this is why I have taken such action. I believe my decision will serve as a warning to any player(s) that want to resort to such behavior in future”, he emphasized.
The Sierra Leone Football Association Executive Committee has already endorsed the sanitations.
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