Peter Leatham, OASST Chair, was surprised to learn that there isn’t just ‘One Accy Stanley’, and that there is an ASFC in Sierra Leone!
Determined to get to the bottom of the story, Peter tracked down the club founder, Bakarr Ransome Stanley Kamara Sr., to ask him about our sister club.
PL Where in Sierra Leone are you based?
We are a group of young players based in the capital city of Sierra Leone, Freetown, in the western area.
PL How did you all get together?
We do communicate through our Accrington WhatsApp forum
PL How often do you play matches?
We play matches by registering in competition or we make friendly match mostly two weeks after training.
PL What’s the league structure and pitches do you play on?
First the pitch, apart from school yard field. We have sand pitches like the national practice field, parade playing field and also few pitches that have artificial turf and for the league structure. Now we are not a division club, so we suppose to partake on few non division league including the inter community football league I talked about before registering in the second division.
PL How many players on the squad?
We are 18 in the squad right now due to no funding, I only happen to manage the team with the few resources I hustle to have and raise some of the cash in lobbying in the community to some of our die hearted fans so we can’t afford more players. Though we have upcoming players that we need in the squad.
PL Are you all childhood friends or players from other community?
There are players from other community that are in the team. Though we play on hope that things will get better, I still go around Freetown to scout talents, I faced a lot of Disappointment in terms of resources. But I can assure that the ones playing for us are the one that have the team at heart and believe in what I do.
PL What is the ambition?
First of all I want to appreciate God for the courage he is giving me to undertake this task, it is difficult but things are happening. Our dream of playing is to play football to professional level, promote talents and also be a liaison between us, if possible to scout talents from Sierra Leone into Accrington in England.
PL What’s the club structure?
For now it is only me and some of the fans who gives support and also the community member who we choose to serve as a coach. The body is structure but not 100%.
PL Why choose Accrington?
The name Accrington is giving to the team because of me. My friends called me Stanley, it all started back when we are playing PlayStation. I always use a single star team in the PS to eliminate guys with 4 and half stars, so they all know that I am in love with this team that I always play with it. Thats why they started calling me Stanle. When I took up the responsibility as a community captain of the team community team(PWD strikers). Time comes when the community begin to lost their interest in the team, no support from community and the team collapsed. Some of the boys in the community came up to and said, ‘brother we believe in you and football is our thing we want to play’, and I think football is me and I can’t let this game die because I will not be happy with myself. So we started training and when it come to naming the team they say my name Stanley, but I only decides to naming it the Accrington Stanley FC. Cause it the team I love, and their progress from league two to league was very impressive.
PL What teams do you play against?
We normally play against non division community teams and sometimes we extend invitations to division one and two teams.
PL What sort of distance do you travel to play?
Freetown is 80 sq km with a population of just over 1 million, we travel around the Freetown by paying fare in mini bus to play games.