Monrovia – Mustapha Raji, the President of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), has made a steadfast commitment to foster the growth of football across all levels. Emphasizing the importance of addressing every facet of the sport, starting from its grassroots, Raji outlined his vision during the inauguration of a five-day CAF goalkeeping coaching course held at the LFA headquarters in Swankamore, Congo Town on August 25th.
In his opening remarks, Raji paid tribute to the late technical director Henry Browne, who had dedicated years of effort to bring the coaching course to fruition. Raji stressed the LFA’s dedication to holistic football development, highlighting their past initiatives, including coaching courses and specialized workshops, such as a fitness and conditioning program held in April and a recent anti-doping workshop.
He also revealed that the course was financially supported by CAF’s annual subvention of US$250,000 to its member associations.
Raji underscored the significance of club football in the broader context of football development, emphasizing that such progress cannot be achieved overnight. He acknowledged the foundational work done by predecessors like Willard Russell (RIP), Edwin Melvin Snowe, and Musa Hassan Bility, and reiterated the commitment to further advancing football.
“Football development is at the core of President George Manneh Weah’s development plans. We must lay the foundation for others to follow or build upon,” Raji stated. He concluded by officially declaring the coaching course open.
Meanwhile, D. Zeogar Wilson, the Minister of Sports, commended the LFA for organizing specialized training courses like the one at hand. Wilson, who previously played for Mighty Barrolle and the Liberian national team, paid tribute to three revered compatriots who inspired him during his playing days.
Reflecting on his own journey as a goalkeeper, Wilson noted that he hadn’t had the privilege of specialized training. Instead, he had learned through the school of hard knocks. He credited his development to the influences of Boye Cooper (RIP), Paul Dadzie (RIP), and Lucretius Togba, as well as Thomas Nkono of Cameroon.
Acknowledging the positive influence of Coach Lucretius Togba, Wilson expressed his gratitude for the opportunities he had been given, both at the University of Liberia and with Trowin in the Borough of New Kru Town league. He also mentioned that he had mentored Johnny Sumo and Abraham Jackson, encouraging all present to make a meaningful impact by sharing their knowledge.
The coaching course, which includes both theoretical and practical sessions, is being led by CAF coaching instructor Alejandro Alfredo Heredia from Argentina. Heredia, who boasts over 40 years of coaching experience, will receive assistance from former Liberia goalkeeping coach Lucretius Togba. The course is set to conclude on August 29th.