18 January 2012

Sierra Leone: Slifa Gets Foreign Coach

American-born Rod Underwood has arrived in Freetown to officially take over the technical team of first division side, Mount Aureol SLIFA.

The former Portland Timbers assistant coach who later became Cleveland City Stars boss jetted into Freetown on Monday to guide SLIFA gain promotion to the premier league as they kick-start preparation for the new first division league season.

In an exclusive interview, Underwood said he would be in town for two weeks before heading back to the United States and later return for his full time duty.

"I am here to take over the team and my plans are to take SLIFA beyond the Premier League so that the club will be recognized internationally both in and out of the field for their work."

Underwood who has coached Sierra Leone and Bursaspor striker, Ibrahim Teteh Bangura and former Leone Stars full back, Warren Kanu, said he will not find it hard to work with Sierra Leonean players noting that they possess lots of talent.

"Sierra Leonean players possess lots of talent but these talented players need to be developed and I will work on this," he said. "I was not surprised with the skills that I saw during my first training session with the team." He admitted that he has lots of challenges to make sure that the players' skills are built properly for the country and themselves.

Underwood has been involved in professional soccer both as a player and a coach. After his playing career, he worked in many different roles including coaching youth, college and professional teams in the United States and overseas. He holds the United States Soccer Federation National Youth License, the United States Soccer Federation "A" License amongst others.

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