The Leone Stars held their first training session on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the El-jadida training complex at 5pm. This session is part of their preparation for the World Cup Qualifying matches against Djibouti and Burkina Faso, scheduled for June 5 and June 10, 2024, in Morocco and Mali, respectively.

Before the training session commenced, head coach Amidu Karim delivered an inspiring pep talk to the players, emphasizing the importance of these matches for their World Cup 2026 qualification. “Winning against Djibouti and Burkina Faso will have a significant impact on our chances to qualify for the World Cup,” he stated.

“For me, there is no first or second choice game. All matches in this World Cup Qualifiers are finals. Getting three points in each match is crucial for our qualifications. This time, there’s no room for jokes.”

He continued, “During training sessions, do everything you can to secure a place in the starting eleven. When on the pitch, use all your power and experience to secure victory. Take the game to your opponents, control the match fully, and play collectively with one spirit and one mind. The sky will be our limit.”

He also reminded the players of the support from the Ministry of Sports (MOS), the National Sports Authority (NSA), and the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA). “The authorities are doing everything possible, through the Government, to ensure you are comfortable and happy with the preparations for any tournament.”

“All I need from you is to win. That is the expectation from the Government and the people of Sierra Leone,” he added.

The training session was attended by SLFA Vice President Harold Nat Johnson, Parliamentary Oversight Sports Committee Chairman Hon. Gavao, NSA Director of Participation Steven Kelfala, Director of Competitions Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, National Safety and Security Officer Mohamed Bowen Freeman, National Coordinator James Fofanah, and various sports journalists.

Eleven foreign-based players have already joined the team, with the remaining players, including International Sports Ambassador Christian Dauda, expected to join tonight and tomorrow.