Concord Times (Freetown)

22 January 2014

Sierra Leone: Diamond Stars Coach Hopes for Champions League Upset

Sierra Leonean champions Diamond Stars' caretaker coach, Derrick Boison, is planning to cause one of the biggest upsets in this year's CAF Champions League when his side takes on former African Champions and 2013 FIFA World Club Cup runners-up, Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

Diamond Stars will travel to Casablanca for the preliminary round first leg encounter scheduled for February 8 before hosting the Moroccan club in Freetown for the return leg a week later. And coach Boison, whose boys are seen as the underdogs in the clash, is self-assured they can create the biggest upset this year in the Champions League by eliminating Raja.

"Yes on paper they are the favourites and they will consider us as pushover but in football you don't just look down on your opponent. We are seen as the underdogs but I have players in my squad who are no longer new to international tournament and have got experience in playing the CAF Champions League," he said.

The former Ports Authority and Gem Stars coach, who was recently appointed as caretaker coach of Diamond Stars, said despite it is a daunting task they are ready to face the challenge in Morocco and is hoping to produce a good result in the first leg.

He said: "I watched them play during the FIFA World Club Cup and at least I know something about them. However, I have my game plan for both legs and that is why the international friendly in Guinea is very much important for us because I will have to experiment my game plan."

Diamond Stars are expected to depart Freetown on January 27 to face Horoya Athletic club de Guinea in an international friendly before returning to Freetown for the first leg clash against Raja Casablanca in Morocco

The will mark the second successive year Diamond Stars is competing in the CAF Champions League after they won the league title in 2012 and became the first provincial team to win the Sierra Leone top flight league.

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