Leone Stars Dele Heads for Malabo after a night in Lome
A 31-man delegation led by Abdul Kanasieu arrived in Lome, Togo on Wednesday afternoon on board the ASKY Flight KP016 from Freetown via Monrovia, Banjul and Accra on their way to Equatorial Guinea to face the Nzalang Nacional in the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
This is the third time Sierra Leone will be meeting the Equatorial Guinea after first meeting in June 2008 in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Sierra Leone lost 0-2 in Malabo and won 2-1 in Freetown.
The 31-man delegation comprises of 19 players, 10 officials and two representatives from the Sports Writers Association-Sierra Leone (SWASAL), who were sponsored by Mercury International-Sierra Leone.
Speaking to SWASAL at the Lome International Airport, Head Coach Olof Mattsson revealed that his boys are well motivated ahead of the crunch encounter in Malabo adding that team spirit is high. He noted that he will be very aggressive to clinch all three points in Malabo before getting ready to face Sao Tome at home the following Saturday in the 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.
“We are strengthening as we go along and we are becoming a force to reckon with as the momentum gathers. However, this is the time we need to play for our country and make our people proud once again as we try to put Sierra Leone on the map,” Coach Mattson said.
When the leader of the delegation Abdul Hamid Kanasieu Rollings was contacted he averred that all is well in the camp as all the players have been paid their respective match appearance fees and an agreement on match bonus for a win or draw agreed on.
“I don’t want to say what we gave the boys as match appearance fee but I’m sure this is the highest ever paid. The boys are ready to play and are determined to qualify for both the 2013 Africa Nations Cup as well as the 2014 World Cup,” the head of the delegation said.
However, according to one of the players, the sum of three thousand dollars was given to each of them as match appearance fee and a thousand dollars bonus if they win and five hundred dollars for a draw.
Meanwhile, the 31-man delegation, which had a stop for a night in Lome will board the ASKY Flight KP042 on Thursday afternoon for Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Leone Stars 31-man delegation
Technical Team1. Olof Mattson-Head Coach 2. Johnny Murray 3. Lennart Anderson 4. Lamin Bangura 5. Philip Kors
SLFA6. Abdulraman Swarray 7. Sorie Ibrahim Sesay 8. Abdul H.K. Rollings
Govt. Representatives9. Alphan Coker 10. Hon. Nuru Deen Sankoh Yillah
SWASAL11. Abubakarr Kamara 12. John Baibai Bangura
Players13. Ibrahim Kargbo 14. Ibrahim Bangura 15. Mohamed Bangura 16. Gibrilla Fofanah 17. Umaru Bangura 18. Samuel Barley 19. Christian Caulker 20. Khalifa Jabbie 21. Alhassan Kamara 22. Kei Kamara 23. Mohamed Kamara 24. Mohamed Kallon 25. Unisa Bangura 26. Ishmail Koroma 27. Rodney Strasser 28. Sheriff Suma 29. Alfie Conteh 30. Ibrahim Koroma 31. John Ansumana
Credit: SWASAL, Sponsors: Mercury International LTD.
By Abubakarr Kamara in Lome, Togo
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