By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh
Gambian-born coach Tapha Manneh has finally settled on his squad after crisscrossing with a different set of players in building Liberia’s new U-20 team.
Previously, Manneh was training and doing screening for the U15, who won the Organe tournament in Morroco. Then, he traveled with the U17 female team during the preliminary rounds of World Cup qualifiers against Guinea. He was also part of the technical team working on the Lone star CHAN team.
The former Liscr FC coach has shifted focus to the Lone star U-20 preparation as he hopes to propel the team to greater heights.
They will face defending Champions, The Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, Liberia, and Guinea in Group B of the WAFU A U-20 AFCON qualifiers to be played from Sunday, 28 August to 10 September 2022 in Mauritania.
He is expected to go for 15 days camp from Wednesday, 27 July, with his Liberia under 20 teams.
Task and priority
“The task I was given is to qualify for the Cup of the nation; that’s the priority. After that, our target is to qualify for the U-20 AFCON and win the Championship.” Manneh indicated.
Manneh went on to assess his opponent and called the group tough though he insisted self-confidence is critical.
“It’s a tough group. In football, you must always believe in yourself and prepare yourself. It doesn’t matter what is going to happen or what is happening; preparation is important, and we are on it.”
“Even though we are underdogs, we will try our best. The Gambia is the defending champions. Senegal were once champions, and we know that Guniea always has a formidable and competitive youth category.”
“We (Liberia) were once a finalist in 2018; they aren’t newbies in this competition. So we are trying to bring the missing jaw of Liberian football.”
Manneh heaps praise on President Weah and Mustapha Raji.
“George Weah and the Liberia Football Association are doing very well. If you see, all the teams are participating in competitions. They are the ones that created the platform; not everything is about finance; creating opportunities for the lads is another way.”