MONROVIA, Montserrado – LISCR FC’s preparations for the crucial CAF Champions League match against Al Hilal of the Sudanese Premier League has been hit with a major blow after two key players departed the club for greener pastures.
Via their Facebook page, the club confirmed the departure of its 2016-17 highest goal scorer, Christopher Jackson.
According to the release from the club, Jackson left the club to attend trials with Belarusian club FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk.
The striker will spend 10 days in Belarus with FC Shakhtyor before traveling with the Belarusian club outside the country for a two-week preseason camp. His fate will be decided by the club based on his performances during the trials.
Jackson’s departure from the Liberian First Division League and FA Cup champions comes just less than a month to the CAF Champions League match against Al Hilal.
LISCR’s president, Mustapha Raji, expressed his frustration over Jackson’s untimely departure. According to the LISCR boss, the departure has put the club in a difficult situation as it has less than 24 hours to register its players for the CAF competition.
Raji told The Bush Chicken it was the wish for the club to have Jackson since his move is just a trial and the club would only benefit if he’s signed by Shakhtyor and sold to another club in the future.
“The player insisted that he must go for the trials and the club, in its opinion, was forced to grant him his request,” Raji said. “He’s going not to sign with the club but to attend trials. If he succeeds, the club stands to benefit nothing until he is sold in the future. However, we as club cannot do anything. It is his wish and we must respect it.”
From three games played during the club’s recent visit to Sierra Leone, Jackson failed to get on the scoresheet and Raji believes the impending trial had a negative impact on the player, as he was no longer focused.
Jackson’s departure means there are three key players leaving the Shipping Boys for greener pastures.
Less than a month after the signing Liberia international Terrence Tisdell, the club announced that the former FC Fassell player had moved to Mozambique to sign with Costa do Sol. A week after Tisdell’s departure, the club was hit with another blow after Trokon Myers departed the country to attend trials with Cameroonian giant Union Douala.
The departure of key players is no doubt a major blow for the club, but their head coach Tapha Manneh believes he will overcome it.
“It is a difficult situation, but we will work harder to overcome it,” Manneh told The Bush Chicken.
The club began early preparations for the new season and the CAF Champions League preliminary round very early by signing top players. However, with the absence of these three players who could have played strategic roles in the squad, LISCR will now have to return to the market to find replacements before the start of the new football season.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.