The momentum that is building to cheer the national football team, Lone Star, to victory against Guinea Bissau, is not enough– as head Coach James Salinsa Debbah, yesterday announced 26 quality players, to maintain the team’s ‘winning ways.’
The players include the best 17 foreign-based Liberians and 9 local players. It is chiefly intended to “bring it on,” as it is widely sung from the lyrics of P-Square, featuring Dave Scott to maintain the victory, after Liberia’s victory over Tunisia last month.
Liberians yearn for the victory train to continue, like the high expectation when the country nearly qualified for the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.
During yesterday’s press conference, Coach Debbah disclosed that he has dropped seven players and included six new players for the two-leg encounters against Guinea Bissau for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Among the seven dropped from the team is goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman, owing to an incident which has reportedly left him partially blind.
“The dropping and inclusion of new players are part of our rotational 40 players for the national team and I’m proud to say we are gradually building a team,” Coach Debbah said.
The six dropped players are Sekou Jabateh, Nathaniel Sherman, Herron Berrian, Omega Roberts (though he didn’t turn-out for the match against Tunisia), Soto Roberts, Mark Paye, and Aloysious Simujila.
The newly recalled players are Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh, Dioh Williams, Abel Gebor, Hilton Varney, Junior Barshall and Alpha James.
“Among the new players, only Patrick is under observation, owing to a minor injury. We hope he’s recovered for the game but if he has not he will ultimately be replaced,” said Coach Debbah.
Coach Debbah stated that he would be playing four attackers – William Jebor, Francis Grandpa Doe, Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh and Dioh Williams, arguing that Guinea Bissau is a ‘most dangerous opponent” because he has not seen them play.
Those players he retained include Sampson Gidding, Saylee Swen and Tommy Sang. He also kept Solomon Grimes, Trokon Zeon, Gizzie Dorbor and Adolphus Marshal.
Others are Teah Dennis, Dirklir Glay, Raymond Farciah, Patrick Gehardt, and Anthony Laffor.
The remaining players are Murphy Oscar Dolley, Zah Krangar, William Jebor, Sekou Conneh, Sam Johnson, and Francis Grandpa Doe.
The former Liberia celebrated star said the selection of the final 26 players was a result of thorough examination of several players, with the two-tie being scheduled on Thursday, October 8 in Monrovia and on Tuesday, October 13 in Guinea Bissau.
Meanwhile, the Chief Communication Strategist at Cellcom GSM, Dr. Kimmie Weeks has reconfirmed Cellcom GSM’s continuous support to the national football team, Lone Star.
Dr. Weeks said Cellcom GSM is considering setting up a program for Cellcom subscribers to text to an assigned number, which may cost US$0.50 per text, to support the national team.
Since 2011, Cellcom GSM has been supporting football in Liberia.
Wins for the national team from the two-tie against Guinea Bissau will qualify Liberia to play against their Ivorian counterparts, The Elephants (Ivory Coast).