By Amin Kef Sesay
The East End Lions Football Club has on Thursday 17th September, 2020 appointed a new Coach, Ibrahim Sillah, as their new head coach during an auspicious event held at the Board Room of Africa Young Voices Media Empire Headquarters on Wesley Street in Freetown while unveiling their new coaching staff.
The Club presented their 2019 Annual Reports to the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Chris Kamara, announced the disbursement of COVID-19 funds received from SLFA, presentation of certificates to some of their distinguished members including the outgoing Head Coach, John Keister and the unveiling of their new Coaching Staff.
The programme was chaired by Asmaa James.
Sillah’s appointment came after the former coach of the club, John Keister, was appointed as the head coach of the National Team, Leone Stars.
In his address, Chairman of the East End Lions Football Club, Anthony Navo Jr, said they took over in January 2019 as the Executive body of the East End Lions Football Club furthering how when they took over, just within one year, they won the Sierra Leone Premier League unbeatable, adding that 2020 could have been their second year of victory but due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country the league was cancelled.
He said as a team they do not only want to win trophies and seat back but rather they are working towards the development of the club. The Chairman of the club applauded their former Coach, John Keister, whom ,he said, has been working tirelessly towards the development of the club and coached the team till they won the 2019 Premier League.
He said it was because of his hard work and commitment that he was appointed to serve as coach for the National Team.
He said as an National Executive they invested 2.5 Billion Leones towards the development of the club of which 27 percent of the money came from gate takings, 8 percent from sponsorship and 62 percent of came from their pockets as members of the National Executive.
He expressed appreciation to the Sierra Leone Football Association for their sincerity in disbursing the COVID-19 Fund that was given by FIFA to every sector of sporting activities across the country.
In his contribution, Mohamed Gento Kamara, Vice Chairman of East End Lions Club buttressed what the Chairman has just said.
Global Coordinator of the East End Lions Football Club, Dr Fatu Taqi, while presenting Certificates of Appreciation to the former Head Coach of the club, John Keister, said they are very happy for his new appointed adding that as a team they will surely miss his presence within the club.
She said that it because of his professionalism and commitment towards his career that was why he was appointed to lead the national team saying she is with the strong belief that his success story within the East End Lions will be felt within the National Team.
In his response, former Head Coach of East End Lions, John Keister expressed appreciation to the club for recognizing his strides and successes within the club and for giving him the platform.
He described the event as an historic in his life, stating that he is very humble that the club first thought of him because of leading the club in the first place and that all the successes he achieved were as a result of their support.
He said that he has left the club with well experienced players and a technical team which will take the team to a higher peak and wished them all the best in subsequent competitions.
The National Secretary General of the club, Alpha Jalloh, also used the opportunity to present the club’s 2019 Report to the general membership. He described the currently Executive as very proactive as shown by the things they have done for the club which others have not done for their clubs.
He said as a club it is their obligation to submit Reports on an annual basis, which they have done and will be presented to other sectors.
He presented the Report to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), the East End Lions Elders Committee, and the East End Lions Fan Club.