Friday Oct 01, 2021. 12:00
Liberia national team coach Peter Butler has explained his non-selection of former captain Sam Johnson for their 2022 World Cup Qualifying matches.
The Lone Stars are scheduled to face Cape Verde in back-to-back Group C WCQ matches on Thursday 7 and Sunday 10 October 2021.
Butler’s selection for the match does not include 28-year-old striker Johnson, who plays his club football in Sweden with Mjallby AIF.
Johnson is not a regular for the Hallevik-based club and Butler says his selection criteria involves picking players who see action week in and week out, alongside looking to bring new blood into the Lone Stars set up.
“I spoke with his team and members of his technical staff and there are some things I can say here but I can’t carry passengers,” Butler said in reference to Johnson, as quoted by Front Page Africa.
“No disrespect, Sam and other former players have contributed to the national team immensely and it has to be acknowledged, but for now I am focusing on young players and the future of the team.”
The coach added, “I want young, experienced and energetic players. We need to work on our defensive strategies as well as fire power and I am sure we will get better.”
In related news, Liberia will stage their ‘home’ game against Cape Verde on October 7 at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana.
The Lone Stars will hope that the work being done on their Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia allows them to host back-to-back home matches against Nigeria and Central African Republic in November.