Makeni, SIERRA LEONE – Kholifa Stars Football Club’s remarkable journey to the Sierra Leone Premier League highlights the power of unity and determination among football stakeholders and players in the Tonkolili district. The team’s promotion to the Premier League, as runners-up in the 2023 National First Division playoff, symbolizes the unwavering support of the local community, with Head Coach Hassan Maddie Conteh leading the chorus of praise.
The Northeast Region Football Association Regional Playoff champions, Kholifa Stars, have not only ended a 14-year absence from the Premier League since Golden Dragons were relegated in 2010 but have also showcased the strength of community spirit and player commitment.
Football stakeholders from Tonkolili district, including top officials, locals, and fans from various towns and villages, joined hands in a remarkable display of unity, and their collective efforts have yielded fruitful results.
Throughout the regional and national playoff matches, Kholifa Stars basked in the passionate support of a sizable group of fans. This fervent fan base was spearheaded by the Mayor-elect of Tonkolili District, Alimamy Samuel Kamara, the District Football Association Chairman, Abdul Pascal Gbla, and Mohamed Sorie Jalloh, a member of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Executive Committee.
Head Coach Maddie Conteh, a former player of Golden Dragons Football Club, appreciates the challenges faced by the team in their journey to the Sierra Leone Premier League. He took the opportunity to commend his players for their unwavering commitment and dedication, both on and off the pitch.
In particular, he highlighted the leadership of team captain Prince Solo Marra, affectionately known as “Paul Kpaka,” describing him as an exceptional midfielder and a true leader on the field with a wealth of potential to offer the team.
Coach Maddie emphasized the significance of unity within the football community, urging others to emulate the example set by Tonkolili district stakeholders. He underscored that unity is a crucial element in achieving success in football.
Looking ahead, Coach Maddie expressed his dedication to Kholifa Stars Football Club and his eagerness to receive more support as the team prepares for its journey in the Sierra Leone Premier League.
In general, the people of Tonkolili have lauded Coach Hassan Maddie Conteh and his players for their hard work and dedication, recognizing their instrumental role in realizing the dream of returning a district team to the Premier League after a prolonged absence. They remain hopeful that Kholifa Stars’ success in the 2023/24 Sierra Leone Premier League, as the sole district representative, will serve as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to support its football team. ARW/14/10/2023