The newly hired head coach of Lone Star, James Salinsa Debbah has expressed confidence that his appointment is the beginning of a prosperous future for Liberian football.
The ex-Liberian celebrated football star said his preferment will return the country to its rightful place in continental and international football.
Coach Debbah made the assertion over the weekend when he and other former Lone Star players were officially appointed as coaches of the various national teams.
The Mighty Barrolle icon stated that the training and inclusion of former Lone Star players to spearhead the various teams is unprecedented in the history of Liberian football.
“I first want to give thanks and appreciation to the President of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), Mr. Musa Hassan Bility for initiating this program to incorporate former Lone Star Players,” Coach Debbah said.
“This initiative by the President is unprecedented in the history of football in this country, and I am very optimistic that this is the beginning of a bright and prosperous future in Liberian football, a future I believed that will put us back on that pedestal of international relevance in football.”
FA boss with approval from the Executive Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced James Salinsa Debbah, head coach and Kervin Sebwe, deputy head coach for the Senior Lone Star and Washington Blay as the Administrative Manager (Team Manager).
For the U-23 Lone Star, Thomas Kojo and Janjay Jacobs have been appointed as head coach and deputy head coach, while Christopher Wleh and Oliver Markor are coaches for the U-20.
Joe Nagbe and George Gerbro were appointed to takeover the U-17 Lone Star and for the U-17, Vamah Kpoto and Jonah Sarwiah were hired.
Coach Kelvin Sebwe has also been appointed as the head coach for the Female Lone Star.
Mr. Bility said the coaches will be given 100% freedom to recruit players.
The president said the coaches will begin a month orientation hopefully this week to develop their programs.
Debbah indicated that because of qualifying the national team twice to the African Cup of Nations, and the near qualification to the World Cup, as part of the George Weah’s 11, expectations of the Liberian people will be high, and urged them to be patience.
“I want the Liberians to be aware that this program is not an event, but rather a process that will require time, energy and resources to yield fruits,” Coach Debbah said.
In a grave tone, he appealed to the Government of Liberia under the patronage of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to provide the team with the necessary support in order to carry out their functions efficiently.
“Brazil’s achievements in international football were not only based on skills and their passion for the game, but due to their commitment to players and their development,” Coach Debbah noted.
Debbah said: “If these requirements are met, I am positive that we will prevail in all our endeavors.”
For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Lenn Eugene Nagbe thanked the LFA for the recruitment of former players to steer the affairs of the national teams, arguing that it’s an international practice.
He pledged the government’s support to the LFA and the teams, saying that the country will remain supportive to football and revealed that plans are underway for Debbah and other coaches to attend an international coaching abroad, but he did not state how soon.
The technical director of LFA, Henry Brown said in compliance with the regulation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the coaches underwent 160 hours of training in three weeks to earn a License B Certificate in coaching.
Coach Brown wished the former players success in their new undertaking unlike the former Liberian coaches who failed miserably.
One of the former Lone Star players of the George Weah’s 11, Jonathan ‘Boye Charles’ Sogbie said the appointment of Debbah is inspirational as a former linchpin player and argued that he carries the necessary ingredient to national teams and would serve as a role model.
He said the preferment of Kervin Sebwe is unique because he is a disciplinarian, who keeps players together.
“I’m happy to hear that other former players have been appointed in the feeder teams, like Christopher Wleh, Oliver Markor, Vamah Kpoto and others.”
Liberia’s international match commissioner, G. Andy Quamie said the idea to bring the former national team players in the football program is a welcoming idea, arguing that other countries like Brazil, Argentina and Nigeria did the same.
“We hope the government will support the national teams to reach higher heights and also hope the LFA will give them all the necessary support.”