Coach McKinstry has announced the 20 Man squad to face Swaziland in May 2014 AFCON Qualifier.
Competition for places within the squad is now greater than it has ever been and Coach McKinstry has been able to select a squad from those playing regularly in international leagues and the Sierra Leone Premier League - with those chosen having made a total of over 200 first-team appearances in international leagues over the last 8 months alone.
Coach McKinstry said "Alongside those playing in leagues internationally, I've been delighted to welcome in a number of players based in Sierra Leone - many of whom were either involved in the home based squad for the WAFU cup in November, or were part of the successful U-20 squad who recently overcame Guinea in their African Championship qualifier."
"These players represent some of the best young talent in Sierra Leone and represent the bright future that lies ahead for the Leone Stars."
The need to ensure match fitness for the highly competitive AFCON qualifiers has meant that some established names are not included on this occasion due to injury or lack of playing time at club level.
Reflecting on the upcoming games against Swaziland, Coach Mckinstry is aware that Swaziland will be looking to make things difficult for the Leone stars at the opening away game.
"I am certain that Swaziland will be well prepared for this encounter - they will be going all out for a positive result at home, and we must ensure that our professional standards and preparations are at their highest in order to ensure we come away with the correct result"
Progress to Date
Commenting on progress since he took over a year ago, McKinstry is mindful that the squad continues to develop into the new playing style and approach to the game.
"Our target has always been qualification for Morocco 2015, and now that our path is clearly laid out in front of us we must take the first steps forwards. Swaziland present the first hurdle along that path, but we are confident that with focus, good preparations and commitment from all parties, we will overcome this challenge and continue on our journey to AFCON 2015"
Solomon Zombo Morris (US Quevilly, France)
Aruna Kamara Bangla (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone)
Umaru Bangura (Dinamo Minsk, Belarus)
Ibrahim Marcel Koroma (Varbergs BoIS, Sweden)
David Simbo (Al Hilal, Sudan)
Ibrahim 'Soja' Kamara (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone)
Ishmael 'JawJaw' Koroma (Old Edwardians, Sierra Leone)
Yeami Dunia (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone)
Gibrail 'Barel' Sankoh (Henan Jianye, China)
Alfred 'Zagalo' Sankoh (Sanliurfaspor, Turkey)
Rodney Strasser (Reggina, Italy)
Khalifa Jabbie (Balikesirspor, Turkey)
Abdulai Bell Baggie (Tranmere Rovers, England)
Nathanial 'Thongor' Fullah (Ports Authority, Sierra Leone)
Michael Lahoud (Philadelphia Union, USA)
Ibrahim Kallay (IFK Lulea, Sweden)
Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough, England)
Mohamed Bangura (Istanbul BB, Turkey)
Fayia Kobba (Kambia Eagles, Sierra Leone)
Alhaji 'Adriano' Kamara (Norrkoping, Sweden)
Notes to Editors
- You can read more about the AFCON 2015 tournament and the Leone Stars fixtures.
- Johnny McKinstry was appointed Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team on 11th April 2013. You can read more about his time in charge of the Leone Stars
- See www.johnnymckinstry.com for a range of information - biography, press releases and photographs for press use.