Leone Stars’ friendly match in England

2 May 2007 at 10:15 | 67149 views

By Abu B. Shaw, Vanguard London Bureau Chief.

Sierra Leone’s national football team, the Leone Stars(photo), have booked an
important international friendly match to be played in England.

Meanwhile, top soccer scouts are falling over one another to watch the
friendly match scheduled for Monday May 7 to see whatever talent they could
reap from Sierra Leone football for their respective clubs in Europe.

The Sierra Leone FA Chairman, the charismatic Nahim Khadi, speaking to the
Patriotic Vanguard from Freetown, has confirmed that Leone Stars will be
playing English club side, Leyton Orient, currently struggling for
relegation in League One.

Journalist Abdul Rahman Swarray, who will be travelling with the Sierra
Leone delegation to London on Friday May 4, said plans are also afoot to
lure another English club, Hull City, a Championship side, for a second
friendly match.

Mr. Swarray disclosed that Sierra Leone’s professional footballers will be
converging in London on May 4 from France, Romania, Sweden, USA etc. to join
their colleagues from Sierra Leone.

Nine home-based players are coming from Sierra Leone. The goalkeepers are
Habib Sesay of Kallon FC (owned by Mohamed Kallon, the country’s foremost
footballer) and Brima Sesay of Ports Authority. Others are Kemokai Kallon of
Kallon FC; Alimamy Sesay of Kallon FC; Brima Conteh of Mighty Blackpool; Abu
Tommy of Mighty Blackpool; Abdul Deen Sesay of Ports Authority and Mohamed
Forna of Senegal FC.

Leone Stars Head Coach, Jebbo Sherrington, will be travelling with the team
but will be impassive as a London based Sierra Leonean coach will take over
for the friendly. He is Leroy Rosenoir. He played for Leone Stars against
Togo in the 90’s and was very influential in helping Sierra Leone to qualify
for the African Nations Cup in 1994 in Tunisia.

The professionals expected are Mohamed Kallon of AS Monaco; Goalkeeper
Michael Tommy from Costa Rica; Obrey Kargbo from Holland; Gibrilla Wombay
from Romania; Sherrif Suma from Sweden; Ibrahim Bangura from Norway;
Mustapha Sama from Vietnam and Baimba Kamara from USA.

They will be joined by England based professionals like striker Steve Kabba
who plays for premiership side Watford. Steve Kabba, who has never played
for Leone Stars, was contacted by the Patriotic Vanguard Bureau Chief in
London and convinced him to play for Leone Stars. Kabba’s willingness to
play has delighted Mr. Nahim Khadi and he thanked the Patriotic Vanguard for
this patriotic contribution.

The scouts are particularly interested in Mohamed Kallon, the Leone Stars
skipper, who has alerted them about a possible move to England as his
contract with French AS Monaco expires this summer.

FA Chairman Nahim Khadi said: “The rationale behind this friendly in England
is fund raising and more significantly for rediscovering Sierra Leonean
footballers who have never played for the green,white and blue flag.”

Editor’s note: We have learnt that most of the officials and players in Freetown have been denied visas by the British High Commission there. More on that later.