John Keister, head coach of the Sierra Leone national men’s football team on December 30, 2021, unveiled a 28 man squad ahead of the country’s participation in the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The team has a mix of 11 home-based and 17 foreign-based players. According to Coach Keister, he believes that the team was the best to represent Sierra Leone in the tournament.
Below is a list of the defenders and goalkeepers on the team with their profiles.
Yeami Dunia: 25 years old full-back playing for the Sierra Leone Premier League side, Bo Rangers. The 5 feet 8 inches tall defender was born in Freetown, he made his international debut for Sierra Leone in 2012 and has appeared 25 times for the team. Dunia started his senior football career with FC Johansen in 2012, he played for the club until 2018, later in 2019 he joined the Sierra Leone Premier League champions side, East End Lions and in 2021 he moved to Bo Rangers.
Osman Kakay: 25 years old defender playing for the EFL Championship side, Queen Park Rangers (QPR). Kakay was born in Westminster, England to Sierra Leonean parents, he is 5 feet 11 inches tall. The defender made his first appearance for Sierra Leone in 2018 and has played for the team two times. He has been in QPR since his youth days.
Kevin Wright: 26 years old left-back, playing for Orebro in the Allsvenskan. Wright was born in England but represents the Sierra Leone national men’s football team, he started playing for the country in 2020 and has made three appearances. In his youth career, he was part of the Chelsea FC academy until 2016.
Steven Caulker:30 years old center back playing for the Super Lig side Gaziantep on loan from Fenerbahce. Caulker was born in England but represents Sierra Leone internationally. The 6ft 3in tall defender started his professional career in 2009 with the English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur. Caulker made his international debut for England in 2012, but later in 2021, he switched his allegiance to Sierra Leone.
David Sesay: 23 years old defender playing for the fifth tier English football side, Wealdstone FC. Sesay was born in Brent, England, but represents the Sierra Leone national men’s football team. The 6ft tall defender started his career at Watford and made his international appearance for Sierra Leone in 2021.
Umaru Bangura (Zangalay): 34 years old central defender playing for Neuchâtel Xamax in the Swiss Challenge League. He is the current captain for Sierra Leone and one of the oldest players on the team, he made his debut in 2006 and has played 46 matches. Bangura started his professional career with the Sierra Leone Premier League side Mighty Blackpool in 2004.
Daniel Francis: 19 years old left-back, playing for Rot Weiss Ahlen in Germany. Francis was born in England but represents the Sierra Leone national men’s football team. The 5ft 9in tall defender started his career in Bradford City, he made his international debut for Sierra Leone in 2021. He is one of the youngest on the team and the tournament.
Saidu Mansaray: 20 years old left-back, playing for the Sierra Leone Premier League side, Bo Rangers. Mansaray started playing for the Sierra Leone national team in the Africa Nations Cup qualifying match between Benin in 2021.
Ibrahim Sesay: 17 years old goalkeeper playing for the Sierra Leone Premier League side, East End Tigers. Sesay made his first national appearance in 2021, in an international friendly which he helped Sierra Leone secure a 2 -1 win over the Gambia. He is expected to be the youngest player on the team and the tournament in general.