Harambee Stars’ AFCON 2019 opponents Sierra Leone have not had a domestic league for four years and that worries national team coach John Keister.
Sierra Leone who are second in Group F got their win over Kenya’s Stars with a 2-1 margin will face Ethiopia in September in Addis Ababa and Keister has come out clear saying that it is hard to prepare the team without competitive league ongoing. He has been relying on foreign-based players.
“It’s very hard to prepare a team when there is no league. When you’re playing a league it makes it easy for you as a national coach to access the local players. Without a league, I’ve been having training sessions with the local boys just to keep them and the momentum going. I don’t like to make excuses.” Keister told BBC Sports.
“A friendly match like the one we had against Liberia last weekend in Monrovia which ended goallessly was important for the boys to keep them going.
“Going to the 2019 qualifiers we have to look overseas for our foreign-based players because there’s no league in Sierra Leone. If there’s a league playing and home-based players are doing well, we’ll have a mixture of local and foreign-based players representing Sierra Leone,” Keister added.
The country’s president Julius Maada Bio has called on the FA to sort out the impasse quickly so as to give players where to express their talents and grab the opportunities open in the football world.
“I want to talk to the SLFA to try to solve their impasse to give opportunities to our players to shine as we’re a country with a lot of potentials. We as a government want to pay a special attention to the team as you’re our ambassadors.” President Bio said.