Leone Stars has enjoyed two goals from19 year old Kallum Cesay in his first international debut for Sierra Leone. Overjoyed by his first senior international call-up, Kallum Cesay feels like he has “the most to prove” as he jockeys for position among Sierra Leone’s squad.
A brace by the Tottenham young lad gave Leone Stars the much needed victory over the Republic of Congo[Brazzavile] at the Mardan Sports Multi-purpose stadium in Turkey.
The Newham born first year pro has been an important player and regular for Spurs’ Under 18side over the course of the last two seasons. Previously with local club West Ham United, Kallum Cesay signed scholarship forms with Spurs for the start of the 2019/20 season.
During his first season full-time at Spurs, the defender who primarily plays as a right-back (he can also play at left-back and in central midfield) made 11 league appearances for Spurs at Under 18 level (he also featured in a pre-season friendly for the Under 23’s against Enfield Town), and he also featured in the FA Youth Cup and Premier League Cup for Spurs at Under 18 level during the same season. Impressing throughout that season at both right-back and in central midfield (he scored two league goals that season), Cesay made 18 competitive appearances (he scored four goals and registered four assists) during the following 2020/21 season for Matt Taylor’s Under 18 side. Cesay established himself as an important member of the side, and he also made his competitive debut for Spurs’ Under 23 side in a 3-0 Premier.
Cesay is primarily a right-back, but he is also capable of playing on the opposite flank at left-back, and as a central midfielder. The midfielder is an adaptable player, who is effective at both ends of the pitch.
He can be a forward thinking right-back, as he likes to get forward and often go on overlapping runs down the right flank and into the oppositions box, where he tries to be available to get to any rebounds. And he is a defender who has a real eye for goal (his goalscoring and assist record at Under 23 level speaks for itself), owing to his fine positioning in forward areas, and Kallum is also a good striker of the ball. A tall player who has a decent amount of pace, and who also gets up and down the flank really well, Kallum Cesay has great stamina.
Good at linking up with the winger in front of him, Cesay is an intelligent player who can pass the ball well, but he can also stay deep in matches, as I have seen him do this on numerous occasions. Strong in the challenge and not afraid to make sliding challenges, the 18 year old is difficult to get past and can give opposition wingers difficult games.
After a disappointing campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, the Leone Stars have embarked on a new era with a host of fresh faces drafted into their ranks for a trio of friendly matches in Turkey this week.
Among them is 19-year-old Kallum, who has performed consistently well as a full-back for our Development Squad this term, making 21 appearances in all competitions and earning a place on the first team bench twice in the UEFA Europa Conference League, having also featured for our senior side in pre-season.
An unused substitute for his nation’s 3-0 defeat to Togo on Thursday, worked hard ahead of the Congo-Brazzaville game today in order to stake his claim for a potential debut.
“I didn’t believe it first of all when I got the call-up but I’m very, very happy and very excited,” beamed Kallum, who can also play in central midfield and featured in a wide right position in our Under-23s’ most recent Premier League 2 fixture, a 3-1 win over Leicester City last Friday.
Leone Stars receives a boost after the arrival of eight additional foreign-based players in training camp in Antalya, Turkey ahead of three lined up friendlies against Togo, Liberia and Congo Brazzaville on the 24, 27 and 29 March, 2022 respectively.
“I have no clue how it came about, they (the Sierra Leone Football Association) just sent an email out of the blue – I didn’t know anything about it and I was as surprised and delighted as my family was!
“It’s definitely a good experience but now I need to work hard, try to get in the team and just keep doing my best. Because it’s my first call-up, I feel like I’ve got the most to prove. I have to do everything right – I’ve got to train and play well, do the right things off the pitch, recover properly… I’ve got to make an impression and show that I’m there for the next call-up if that comes.”
Kallum is eligible to represent Sierra Leone through his father Tony, a boxing coach from the West African country who has trained fighters to compete at the Commonwealth Games and who recently came into Hotspur Way to deliver a fascinating educational workshop for Under-23 about the fitness, sharpness and mental application needed in the ring. Kallum himself is also keen on the sport and revealed how elements of what he’s learned from his dad over the years have aided him in his burgeoning football career.
“For me, with boxing, it’s more of a mental thing,” he explained. “I believe it’s one of the hardest sports. It’s not like football, it’s totally the opposite. Football is more of a team game but with boxing, it’s just you on your own, you have to fend for yourself and over the years, I believe it’s taught me a lot. Obviously my dad has that boxing background, he’s coached amateurs and professionals and he recently did a little bit of a session for the Under-23. I’ve spoken to a couple of them and they liked what they learned.”
I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING RIGHT – I’VE GOT TO TRAIN AND PLAY WELL, DO THE RIGHT THINGS OFF THE PITCH, RECOVER PROPERLY… I’VE GOT TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION.
Kallum Cesay on his first Sierra Leone call-up
Back to football and Kallum hopes his ability to play in different areas of the pitch will help him to keep making progress: “I think it’s very important because it gives the manager more of a wide range of options of where you can play,” he said. “If you can play a lot of positions, if someone comes out or something happens, he knows you’re able to cover that role so in my eyes, you can be even more important for the team.
“For me though, every time I go out there, wherever I’m playing, I have to keep giving my all, play how I usually play, if not even better and try to help the team to win games.”