–Extends Invitation to President Weah to watch his first game of 2018
The head coach of LISCR FC, Tapha Manneh, is a man with a great deal of optimism, especially for his side’s Sunday, February 11 CAF Championship first leg elimination encounter against Sudanese champions, Al-Hilal of Omdurman.
“I am not good at predicting results of my games,” Coach Manneh told the Daily Observer in an interview on Friday after his side defeated Downtown FC 4-1 in a friendly soccer match at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS).
He added: “Right now my players are doing fine and they are ready to play their best on Feb. 11 against Al-Hilal.”
Coach Manneh said the Feb. 11 game should be important to Liberia. “This will be the first game of 2018 and I think we want to invite the Chief Patron of Sports, President George Weah, to witness the game.”
He noted, “We will be representing Liberia and not LISCR as a team and therefore it is important that we get the maximum moral support for the boys.”
Technically, he said he has four adventurous strikers lined up for the February 11 encounter. “My fifth striker is on a tryout and we expect him to be back soon before the match on Feb. 11,” he noted.
Manneh wants soccer fans from the various clubs to join the team at the ATS to offer their support.
“We want everyone there so that we can enter the New Year with a good performance, because a victory for LISCR FC is a victory for Liberia,” Manneh pointed out.
He agreed that President Weah’s desire to expand sports development should have a basis in fact, and is hopeful that a LISCR victory will encourage and speed up President Weah’s agenda on sports development.
“Make no mistake,” Manneh said, “my boys are ready. In fact, their readiness makes it difficult for me to even select my first team for a game.”
He said the players are happy because the management of LISCR FC has demonstrated its support to the players over the years.
“Remember that we recently spent a week in Sierra Leone preparing for Feb. 11 and any management that can send a team to another country for preparation should tell you how serious they are for the team,” Manneh said.
Speculating on the game’s result on Feb. 11, Manneh said while Al-Hilal are not mere pushovers, he is, however, convinced that his boys would secure a comfortable victory margin. Playing at home has some advantages, like mass support by the home fans.
Manneh is hoping for a win “so that the return leg would be a formality; that is not something that we would have to sweat it out to qualify, and move on to the next round of the CAF Championship League.”
In the end, he said, “We want President Weah to come to the stadium and his presence will serve as one of the motivations for the boys to go all out.”