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 way.’
The 26 players include the best 17 foreign-based Liberians and 9 local players. It is chiefly intended to “bring it on,” as it’s widely sang from the lyrics of P-Square, featuring Dave Scott – to maintain the victory, after Liberia defeated Tunisia, which Liberians yearn for the victory train to continue, like the high expectation when the country nearly qualified for the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.
In yesterday’s press conference, organized by Cellcom GSM – the major sponsor of football development, including the national team (Lone Star) in the country, and in collaboration with the Liberia Football Association, 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.
Amongst the seven players, goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman is included, owing to an incident which has rendered 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 included 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.
“Amongst 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 would ultimately be replaced,” Coach Debbah said.
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 ‘most dangerous opponent” because he has not seen them play.
According to Coach Debbah, those players he retained include: Sampson Gidding, Saylee Swen and Tommy Sango, 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).