Leone Stars finish successful training camp ahead of first leg of (third round) AFCON qualifier against Seychelles this weekend (19 July 2014).
Coach McKinstry is looking forward to the home leg of the AFCON 2015 third round qualifier game this coming weekend against the Seychelles.
The game will be played at the National Stadium in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Saturday 19 July (16:30 Local / GMT; 17:30 UK).
Commenting on how training camp has been progressing, Coach McKinstry said
"Training camp has been going well this week. The challenge of the date not being a FIFA registered date meant that clubs were not compelled to release their players, so on 3 or 4 occasions players that maybe we would like to have brought in - in addition to the squad - weren't able to join us.
However, beyond that training has been very lively, players have been very focused and they have taken on board a lot of information... we are looking forward to kick off... "
Asked what the game this weekend means, Coach McKinstry stated:
"It's a big opportunity for us to move forward in the Africa Cup of Nations. As we've stated numerous times this season.. our ambition is to qualify the team for Morocco 2015 and continue to go up in the FIFA World rankings to hopefully the top 50. Seychelles provide us with the next hurdle that we must overcome if we are to achieve one or both of those goals.
We know it won't be an easy game this weekend, but we believe that we have enough quality in the squad to continue on with our journey as we look to progress in the Cup of Nations qualifying and hopefully make it to Morocco next January."
On the steps taken to prepare for the Seychelles encounter, Coach Mckinstry said:
"Through a number of contacts we have out in East African football we have been able to gather quite a bit of information about the Seychelles team, and their style of play as they have prepared to face us here in Freetown.
We are quite comfortable with the amount of detail we have on their team and that has fed into the training programme this week and what we are going to look to do on Saturday..."
"We feel that at the end of the day, our quality will be enough to see us through, but we also know that it will not be an easy game. We know that the Seychelles come here with their eye firmly focused on qualification for the group stage, as is ours. We know that we have to be at our best to overcome that challenge, but we believe that come full-time on Saturday we will have done just that and will have registered a positive result as we continue on our journey towards the African Nations cup."
On what the game will bring for the fans, Coach Mckinstry noted:
"Supporters will hopefully have observed over the last year.. that the team has evolved to play a more attacking and attractive brand of football. Obviously the number one objective on Saturday is to win the game - to get the result that will see us through, but beyond that we hope to move the ball well and try and score some goals.
The supporters here in Freetown can play a big role in that. We have seen in recent games how big atmospheres can help spur our players on to greater heights, so hopefully we will see another big crowd in the national stadium... and they will be treated to a good show of football and a positive result..."
Match Day Squad:
- Solomon Zombo Morris (US Quevily, France);
- Abdulai Bah (Mighty Blackpool, Sierra Leone)
- Umaru Bangura (Dynamo Minsk, Belarus);
- David Simbo (Al Hilal, Sudan);
- Abdul Rahman Bangura (Atlanta Silverbacks, USA);
- Sheriff Suma (Syrianska, Sweden)
- Ibrahim 'Soja' Kamara (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone);
- Mohamed Kamanor (UMEA, Sweden);
- Khalifa Jabbie (Balikesirspor, Turkey);
- Alfred Sankoh (Khazar Lankaran FK, Azerbaijan);
- Ibrahim Kallay (Lulea, Sweden);
- Kwame Quee (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone);
- Abdulai Baggie (Tranmere Rovers, England);
- Khomson Kamara (Bahrain)
- Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough, England);
- Paul Kabba Tucker (Anti-Drug Strikers, Sierra Leone)
- Ibrahim Teteh Bangura (AIK, Sweden);
- Sulaiman Fullah Sesay (ETAR 1924, Bulgaria).
See the Video Interview:
You can click any of the pictures below to see a full screen version of the picture. You can then also choose to click the play arrow to watch a slide show of all images.
For news and pictures of Leone Stars games and training camps - visit www.johnnymckinstry.com/leonestars
Notes to Editors
- The game is the first game (home leg) in the third round qualifier against Seychelles on 19 July 2014 as part of AFCON 2015.
- 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.