RSLAF clash with Ports Authority FC
By Sahr Morris Jnr.
The Sierra Leone Premier League will finally get underway today after several months of delay. The commencement of the league also recently had to be rescheduled for Wednesday March 26 following the burial arrangement for former president, Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
The opening day will involve eight teams in action in four different venues as last season’s runners-up, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) FC, will engage Ports Authority at the Attouga mini-stadium. This will be RSLAF FC’s first official match since they were knocked-out of the preliminary round of the CAF Confederations Cup by Gamtel of Gambia. A repeat of their superb display last season, which was their debut season in the league, is highly on the minds of the military boys.
However, Ports Authority might create problems for the visitors who are yet to strengthen their defence, and this fixture will be repeated over the weekend in the FA Cup round of 32.
Ports Authority has lost the flair it once possessed and it is very likely that they would be struggling again this season. Finance is another problem for the Water Front Boys, whose popularity has dwindled over the years while their opponents have been awakened by the realities of a continental competition and the upgrading of their players’ salary. A very interesting and entertaining encounter awaits us at the Attouga mini-stadium.
The National Stadium will host the biggest clash of the day as East End Lions will entertain Anti Drugs FC. This clash is dubbed as a derby match as both teams have their roots in the east-end of the capital, Freetown and for the fact that the founder and CEO of Anti Drugs, Alhaji Unisa Alim ‘Awoko’ Sesay, was the longest serving chairman of East End Lions. Anti Drugs will have to prove that they are a force to reckon with in this year’s Premier League race, while The Killers – who have sharpened their claws with new inclusions – will have to convince the nation that they are serious about this year’s championship.
At the SLFA academy ground, Central Parade will host Old Edwardians in a battle of two equals, as the pair are not considered to be title contenders. But Old Edwardians are seen as the favourites going to this match.
The other two fixtures will see Kamboi Eagles engaging Bo Rangers in Kenema and Gem Stars taking on the champions Diamond Stars in Tongo.