Sierra Leone Football.com present profiles of up and coming young players with Sierra Leonean links
Glen Kamara (Arsenal – England)
Place of Birth: Tampere, Finland
Previous clubs: Southend
Highlights: FA Cup Arsenal 2015
Stylish but tenacious, central midfielder Glen was spotted by Arsenal after impressing against the Gunners in two youth friendlies for Southend. The holding midfielder is comfortable in possession and enjoys dictating play from his deep-lying role. Glen is also tactically aware and strong in the tackle.
Aziz Deen-Conteh (Portvale, England)
Place of Birth: Bumpe, Sierra Leone
Previous clubs: Chelsea, Ergotelis (Greece)
Highlights: England U16, England U19
Abdul Aziz Deen-Conteh is a Sierra Leonean professional footballer who plays as a left backfor League One side Port Vale. He represented England at youth level whilst on the books at Chelsea. He spent the 2013–14 season with Greek club Ergotelis, making seven appearances in the Greek Superleague.
Ola Williams Kamara (Molde, Norway)
Place of Birth: Norway
Previous clubs: Stabaek, Honefoss,Stromsgodset,TSV 1860 Munchen
Highlights: Norway U23, Norway
Ola Williams Kamara is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays for Molde, on loan from Austrian club Austria Wien. He plays as a winger or a striker, and has also played for Norwegian clubs Frigg, Stabæk, Hønefoss, Strømsgodset and TSV 1860 München. Kamara, who is of Sierra Leonean descent, has represented Norway at youth and senior international level.
Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders, USA)
Place of Birth: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Highlights: USA U18
Victor Mansaray is an American soccer player who currently plays for Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer. Victor Mansaray entered the Seattle Sounders FC Academy midway through the 2012-2013 season and appeared in 20 games, scoring 11 goals. The following season, still with the U-16’s, he scored a team-high 18 goals in 24 games.In November 2014, Mansaray became the fourth Seattle Homegrown Player when he became the youngest ever signing for the Sounders FC first-team at the age of 17.
On March 21, 2015, He made his professional debut with USL affiliate club Seattle Sounders FC 2 in a 4–2 victory over Sacramento Republic FC. He made his MLS debut a week later in a 0–0 draw away to FC Dallas. Mansaray was selected to the U.S. under-18 national team in August 2014. He played two games in the friendly tournament hosted by the Czech Republic, against Hungary and Ukraine. Before choosing to play for the United States, Mansaray opted to forgo opportunities with Sierra Leone, as well as Jamaica.In December 2014, Mansaray received his third and fourth caps in two games against the Germany under-18 national team.
Antonio Rudiger (VFB Stuttgart, Germany)
Position: Centre back
Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany
Highlights: Germany U18,U19,U20
Antonio Rüdiger is a German footballer who plays as a centre back for VfB Stuttgart in theBundesliga. Rüdiger was also a member of the several German national youth football teams. He currently represents the Germany U21 team. He made his debut for the German national senior team on 13 May 2014 in a 0-0 draw against Poland.
When Rüdiger made his competitive debut for Germany on 11 October 2014 in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group Dagainst Poland, his eligibility to play for Sierra Leone expired, under FIFA regulations. Rüdiger’s father, Matthias Rüdiger, is an ethnic German, while his mother Lily is originally from Sierra Leone.
Issa Kallon (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Place of Birth: Netherlands
Highlights: Netherlands U15,U16,U17,U18,U19
Issa Kallon is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a striker for FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie. He signed in September 2014 a four-year contract with FC Utrecht, which he debuted a month before in professional football. His parents are from Sierra Leone and his uncle is footballer Mohamed Kallon. Kallon played for several Dutch youth selections.
Nathaniel Nyakie Chalobah (Chelsea, England)
Place of Birth: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Highlights: England U16,U17,U19,U20,U21. UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship: 2010
England Men’s Youth Player of the Year 2013. Football League Young Player of the Month: May 2013
Nathaniel Nyakie Chalobah is an English professional footballer. He can operate both as a midfielder or defender and currently plays for Chelsea. Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Chalobah came through the Chelsea academy, having been there since his pre-teens. During the 2010–11 season he featured for Chelsea reserves while still a schoolboy, winning the national championship with the side that season. In 2011–12, Chalobah regularly captained both Chelsea’s reserve and youth sides, and led the 2012 FA Youth Cup winning side. He signed a professional contract with Chelsea in January 2012 shortly after turning 17, lasting until summer 2014.
He was an unused substitute for the Chelsea first-team at the age of 15, in their League Cup clash against Newcastle and traveled with them to the 2012 UEFA Champions League final in Munich, which Chelsea won. On 30 August 2013, Chalobah signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, stating that he wishes to stay at Chelsea for his entire career. He made his England under-16 debut at the age of 13 in October 2008, and his England under-17 debut aged 14 in July 2009. He won the 2010 European Championship and later captaining the side at the age of 15. Chalobah made his England under-19 debut in September 2011 and went on to captain them until the 8th of November 2012 when he was called up to the England under-21 squad for a match against Northern Ireland.
Chalobah made his England Under-21 debut on 13 November 2012, replacing Jordan Henderson in the 76th minute. Chalobah is also eligible for Sierra Leone. Chalobah is well known for his versatility, work-rate, and fitness levels, both in defending and attacking sense. He is described as, “Tall, athletic and can operate in either midfield or defence, being notably quick in the tackle.”
Charles Kai Banya (Crawley Town, England)
Place of Birth: Lambeth, England
Previous clubs: Fulham
Highlights: Fulham 2006-2012
Charles Kai Banya is an English professional footballer who plays for Crawley Town as a midfielder. Banya was born in the London Borough of Lambeth to parents who hail from Sierra Leone, and was brought up in Tulse Hill, South London.
Samuel Bangura (Marlow FC, England)
Place of Birth: Freetown,Sierra Leone
Previous clubs: Chelsea 2007-2014
Highlights: 2011 Milk Cup Junior Section, Full Sierra Leone International May 2013
Samuel Bangura is a defender who formerly played in the Chelsea Academy currently playing for Marlow FC, in the Southern Football League.Samuel joined Chelsea’s academy at Under-13 level.A versatile defender mostly capable at full-back, Sam made his debut for the Under-18 team during the 2010-11 season, making four appearances. His first season as a scholar had something of a false start however as he struggled with injuries in late 2011, but he was able to put together a run of appearances towards the end of the campaign at both right and left back positions.Unfortunately, injuries again curtailed his progress in 2012-13 and without the requisite playing time available in order to develop sufficiently, he was released at the end of his scholarship in June 2013. Samuel had no international representation during his Chelsea career, but in May 2013 was called up into the Sierra Leone national squad for the first time, without ever having earned junior caps for the country, and was subsequently given full senior international honours.
Alieu Lilly Sesay (Anziolavinio, Italy)
Place of Birth: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Alieu Lilly Sesay is a Sierra Leonean professional footballer playing as a striker for Anziolavinio in the Italian Serie D. Sesay is currently on loan to Seria D Anziolavinio FC having helped Lupa Roma to win the Eccellenza Lazio B division play-off title to gain promotion.
Aboubakar Kamara (Monaco, France)
Place of Birth: France
Abubakar Kamara is a French professional footballer playing as a striker for AS Monaco. He made a big splash with the reserve team of AS Monaco. With 15 goals in 19 appearances in the reserves lst season, Abubakar Kamara (20 years) is the top scorer of the reserve of AS Monaco. Performances that earned him playing time in Ligue 1 under the command of Leonardo Jardim against Lyon and Reims.
Cole Desmond Kpekawa (QPR, England)
Place of Birth: Blackpool, England
Highlights: QPR 2004-2014
Cole Desmond Kpekawa is an English professional footballer who plays as a defenderfor Queens Park Rangers. Having joined Queens Park Rangers academy in 2005 he worked his way through the ranks then signed a 2 year scholarship at 16 and Kpekawa featured in the Under-18 and Under-21 level. In April 2014, Kpekawa signed his first professional contract on a one-year contract.
Alie Sesay (Leicester City, England)
Place of Birth: Enfield, England
Previous clubs: Arsenal
Alie Sesay is an English-born Sierra Leonean professional footballer who plays for Leicester City, as a right back.On 15 March 2013, he signed a professional contract with Leicester City. Sesay was called up by Sierra Leone for the first time in October 2014.
Sulaiman Borbor Kaikai (Crystal Palace, England)
Place of Birth: Southwark, England
Highlights: Kaikai won both the Vice-President’s Young Player or the Year Award, and the Development Player of the Year Award for Crystal Palace on 13 May 2015
Sulaiman Borbor Kaikai is an English footballer who plays as a winger for Crystal Palace. Kaikai started his career at Crystal Palace when he was fifteen and having progressed his way through the youth teams to the academy side, Kaikai signed his first professional contract with the club. In May 2013, Kaikai’s goal against Liverpool the previous August earned a nomination for the League Football Education Goal of the Season award. It was declared the Goal of the Season. In the 2014-15 season, Kaikai made his Crystal Palace debut in the third round of the League Cup and scored his first goal, Following his return from a loan spell at Cambridge United, Kaikai won both the Vice-President’s Young Player or the Year Award, and the Development Player of the Year Award for Crystal Palace on 13 May 2015.Kaikai was born in the London Borough of Southwark to parents hailing from Sierra Leone.