Sierra Leone Men’s League Appoints First Female Coach

Victoria Conteh has been appointed as the first female head coach of a Sierra Leone men’s Premier League side East End Tigers.

“We’ve decided to appoint her because she’s qualified and that’s the bottom line,” the club owner Victor Lewis told BBC Sport.

“It shouldn’t be a man or woman thing, it should be about who is qualified to do the job.

“We’re happy to secure her services and we believe her appointment is good for the women’s game.

Lewis said the 45-year- old is “qualified and that’s the bottom line.”

The club formerly known as Gem Stars of Tongo hired on a two-year deal which will

Make her the second woman to manage a top-flight men’s club in Africa after Ethiopia’s Meseret Manni coached Dire Dawa in 2015.

“She has a two year mandate and we’ve given her the target to finish in the top four and we are very confident that she can deliver,” Lewis said.

Conteh,however said she is happy and proud about her appointment.

“This is a surprise Christmas package for me because I wasn’t expecting it,”Conteh said.

“I know it’s not easy for a woman to serve as coach in the top flight in Sierra Leone but I’ll cope with the pressure and I’m determined to do well.”

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Conteh is the only Caf ‘A’ licensed female coach in the country and has previously been in charge of the national under-20 women’s team and the Sierra Leone Police Women’s outfit.

But she is not new to the men’s game, having previously been in temporary charge of the now defunct men’s second-tier side Delta Strikers.

Conteh’s first match on Saturday which is the club’s second match of the seasonhad them drawing 1-1 at home to Kallon FC.

They have never won a Premier Division title in their history, but Conteh wants to change that.

“My target is to make history by becoming the first woman coach to win the top-flight.

“I’m determined to do what some of the men coaches can’t do.”

Conteh said she hopes to continue coaching in the top flight.

She said her dream is to one day coach the Sierra Leone men’s senior national team Leone Stars.”

“I hope this will be my stepping stone to a higher height,” she said.

THE GUARDIAN

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