Former national team, Lone Star, and LPRC-Oilers’ unwavering defender, Ansu Sirleaf, has called for material and financial support from former players to ailing ex-coaches, particularly those that mentored them during their playing days.
In a telephone interview with Mr. Sirleaf from his current base, Philadelphia, USA, yesterday he said he was saddened during his recent visit to Liberia that conditions of three ailing coaches were discouraging.
“I am talking about Sayon Davis, Joker Wreacher and George Taylor,” Ansu said.
He said former players who are in the position to help should not neglect their duty, for these coaches stood by them during their days when they were stars for Liberia.
“Take for instance George Taylor who mentored LPRC-Oilers players…Mr. Taylor under no circumstances should suffer, for there are many players who are in top management positions even at the LPRC that could make a lot of difference in his life,” Ansu said.
Ansu said he finds it difficult to understand why former players, the Liberia Football Association and the Ministry of Youth & Sports have not been able to come up with a program to aid those who are unfortunately sick and need support.
During his recent visit, Mr. Sirleaf visited Sayon Davis in New Kru Town, and in a disturbed mood, encouraged the man who was a member of the 1979 Lone Star team that won a three-nation tournament in Monrovia, to take heart.
“Your friends in the United States are worried about you,” he told Mr. Davis, and assured him that they would do their best form him. Coach Davis suffered a stroke almost five years ago.
Sayon Davis, known during his playing days as ‘Espanol’ for being one of the first Liberian players to play in Spain, was also known as ‘Experience.’ Davis, his friends say, was a darling on the ball, and though was too young for his age at the time, showed a lot of maturity on the ball that it earned him the accolade that many know him today.
During Ansu’s visit to former LPRC-Oilers Coach George Taylor in Sinkor, Monrovia, Coach Taylor could not hold back his tears as Ansu Sirleaf entered his residence to see how he was doing.
He told Ansu Sirleaf that he was grateful that he always remembered him whenever he visited Liberia, which has shown how much Ansu never forgot his origin and those who stood behind him when he was a budding player.
Ansu told the Daily Observer yesterday that his heart bleeds for Liberians that it appears have been forgotten in their period of distress, and wants that to change.
He wants footballers at home and abroad to give thought to those whose career as coaches guide them in their soccer sojourn and should not forget them when they need them.
Ansu is a member of the Liberia Athletes Reunion in the United States that recently provided U$500 to assist the medical needs of former coaches Wreacher and Davis.