MONROVIA, Montserrado – Liberia’s First Division and FA Cup champions, LISCR Football Club, have left for Sierra Leone on a preseason tour. The team left Liberia on Friday, January 4, and will return on Friday, January 12.
With the Liberia Football Association yet to announce the new date for the 2018 season, the club has wasted no time in preparing for the new football season and their CAF Champions League preliminary match against Al Hilal of the Sudanese Premier League.
According to a release via the club’s official Facebook page, three friendly matches will be played against three Sierra Leonean Premier League clubs in two different venues.
They will arrive in Makeni, where they will play two test matches before heading to Kono district for their final match.
The club will arrive on Friday and have a training session on Saturday before their first encounter against one-time Sierra Leone FA Cup winner Wusum Stars Football Club on Sunday, January 7 at the Wusum Sports Stadium. Their final match in Makeni will be on Tuesday, January 9 against Marampa Stars Football Club. The Shipping Boys will then play their final test game in on Thursday, January 9 against 2012 Sierra Leone Premier League and FA Cup champions, Diamond Stars Football.
Speaking to The Bush Chicken ahead of the team’s departure, Head Coach Tapha Manneh welcomed the move by the club’s management, describing it as the best decision to prepare for the new season.
“We have a crucial season ahead and we have to prepare well,” he said. “We have been in training since November and have played some important test games in which we got positive results. We won two preseason tournaments and that shows we are improving as a team. Management has done well in making the trip to Sierra Leone possible. The CAF Champions League will be against a foreign team and the test matches in Sierra Leone will help us a lot because we will be playing away and will have a taste of playing foreign teams.”
The 2018 season will see LISCR FC defend the First Division and FA Cup titles. The club made history in Liberian football last season as the first team to have an unbeaten First Division League season. They are also aiming to put behind them past failures in the CAF Champions League. In the two times they have participated, the club has failed to proceed from the first round. They lost 5-0 on aggregate to Ghanaian club Berekum Chelsea in 2012 and lost 3-1 on aggregate to Cameroonian club Union Douala in 2013.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.