The head coach  of the national football team of Liberia James Peter Butler has slammed striker  Sam Johnson return to the national team of Liberia.

Butlers said he is looking for players who are playing week in and week out and not those who have limited playing time at their club.

Addressing a conference ahead of his team’s departure to Egypt for a friendly fixture with the pharaohs of Egypt Butler said he wants players who are playing ninety minute or more every week.

He said he is trying to create a team that can challenge other countries in Africa and will not be carried away by a player scoring a goal in 43 minutes of play.

When asked about the inclusion of Sam Johnson who is gaining fitness the national team coach said he is looking for players who can play back to back games without problem.

 He stated that his team is growing gradually and he is working very hard around the clock to improve on some of the issues that they are confronted with.

“I want young, experienced and energetic players,” Butler maintained.

According to him he is so far impressed with the level of young talents especially those from the local scene but noted that there is still work in progress to be done.

“We need to work on our defensive strategies as well as fire power and I am sure, we will get better”, he added.

He indicated further that the local players are willing to learn and can improve better” they are great and can eventually break into the team soon”, he noted.

The Englishman who has already shortlisted his twenty three local based players for the showpiece with Egypt disclosed that only four players out of that number will subsequently make it through to Ghana for Liberia’s match with Cape Verde on October 6, 2021.

Explaining further, Butler stated that the Cape Verde side is similar to the Central African African Republic as such, the match will not be an easy one but he is certain of a good result.

Commenting on other players, he pointed out that he is building a new, energetic and experienced team for the future.

Making reference to former National team captain, Sam Johnson, Butler said Sam is not fit and can’t play ninety minutes as such he can’t make it to the team adding that he is developing a new and energetic strike force that can produce the necessary goods for the Country.

“I spoke with his team and members of his technical staff and there are some things I can say here but I can’t carry passengers making reference to (Sam) “, he emphatically told Sports reporters on Monday.

“No disrespect, Sam and other former players have contributed to the National team immensely and it has to be acknowledged but for now, I am focusing on young players and the future of the team, ” Butler told reporters at the headquarters of the Liberia football Association.

Meanwhile the Liberian forward marked his first league start in the Swedish Allsvenskan with a goal on Sunday.

Johnson who made his debut in Mjällby AIF in the midweek goalless draw against Halmstad started in Swedish manager Christian Järdler matchday squad that won 4-0.

The striker netted for Mjallby AIF in the 12th minute of the match as they secured a huge home win against IF ELfsborg in the Allsvenskan.

Johnson played up to 46th minute before being substituted for Swedish forward Jacob Bergström.

The goal against IF ELfsborg was his first in two league appearances.

“If you can not finished ninety minutes you can’t play ninety minute in  about eight  months, he play 45 minute yesterday and was brought off i don’t carry passengers i don’t baby seat people we are not in that business,  we trying to produce and in the process of producing a new striker force for Liberian like  Abu Kamara. Patrick Weah ”..

According to Butler he is grateful to Johnoson for his time with the national team but wants players who can play week in week out.

The Lone star coach disclosed that he wrote to the club  of Johnson about his fitness and with the response he feels the national team captain  is far from returning.

Meanwhile the national team will face Egypt on September 30 in an international friendly but the Lone Star team will be made up of majority local players.

Liberia head coach Peter Butler called-up 20 local players for the  friendly international with Egypt at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on 30 September.

The list includes LPRC Oilers goalkeeper Alpha Eshaka Jalloh and defender Ben Benaiah and striker Van Dave Harmon, who is on trial in Egypt.

Liberia will use the match to prepare for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde in October.

Coach Butler is unable to invite foreign-based players because the FIFA window, which mandates clubs to release their players called-up for international duties, runs from 3-13 October.  

The delegation will leave Monrovia on 28 September for Alexandria.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Alpha Eshaka Jalloh (LPRC Oilers), Tommy Gbayeh Songo’s (LISCR FC) and Morlik Keita (Mighty Barrolle)

Defenders: Teah Baysah Dennis, Fred Gaye and Prince Kennedy (Monrovia Club Breweries); Sampson Kargeoh Dweh and Ben David Benaiah (LPRC Oilers) and Alvin Maccornel and Carlos Kofa Williams (Watanga FC)

Midfielders: Julius Echo Quellie and Frederick Dennis (Tony FC); Fred Brooks (LPRC Oilers), Kelvin Barclay (Watanga FC), Sam Jackson (LISCR FC), Benjamin Jerteh Sackor (Monrovia Club Breweries) and Edward Ledlum (Bea Mountain)

Forwards: Terry Sackor (LPRC Oilers), Joseph Melto Quiah (LISCR FC), Divine Roosevelt Teah (Massa youth football club) and Van Dave Harmon (on trial in Egypt)

In another development Ghana has agreed to host Liberia hope game with Cape Verde Island in   october

The Liberia Football Association and Ghana Sports Council (GSC) agreed to rent the Accra Sports Stadium to serve as a home ground for Liberia.

Liberia will take on Cape Verde in a World Cup qualifier on 7 October in Accra and 12 October in Praia.

The GSC had charged US$20,000 but the Liberian government will pay US$15,000, excluding other match coordination costs, following appeals by Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson. 

A team from Monrovia will be dispatched to Ghana to begin a match coordination with Ghana Football Association.

Liberia will have back-to-back games in November if CAF is pleased with progress being made on the playing pitch at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex.

Source: FPA

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