Sullay Kaikai: Former Crystal Palace winger looks forward to Sierra Leone ‘dream debut’

Sullay Kaikai: Former Crystal Palace winger looks forward to Sierra Leone ‘dream debut’

The 25-year-old has been included among the Leone Stars’ side that will take on the Squirrels in Afcon qualifying game

Sullay Kaikai has revealed his eagerness to make his debut for Sierra Leone when they take on the Republic of Benin in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on June 14.

The Blackpool winger was born in England to Sierra Leone parents and had turned down a previous opportunity to feature for the Leone Stars.

The forward explained his inability to establish himself at club level during the period made him snub the chance but having now decided for the West Africans, he is excitedly hoping to make his debut for the side.

“I feel like the timing is right now. Back when you interviewed me about five years ago I was undecided because I wasn’t a first-team regular, I said I wanted to establish myself to become a first-team regular and then try for the national team,” Kaikai told BBC Sport Africa.

“So I feel like now I’m in the position to do that, I have been playing for solid two years now regularly as a starter so I feel like now is the right time.

“I’m at a good age, I have been looking forward to it, but it’s just about the timing. I feel like the timing is right now.

“I’m looking forward to making my international debut against Benin. It’ll be a dream come true to play for your country.

“Qualifying for the Nations cup it’s something I hope and pray for. The more players that can come and play for the national team the better.

“You know we need to make the national team stronger so that we can start qualifying regularly for this kind of tournament. So I hope I can make an impact.”

Kaikai also revealed he has been in regular contact with the national team coach and revealed it played a key role in his decision.

“I have been in contact with the Leone Stars manager for the last year or so consistently. And even before that to be fair like here and there I have been speaking with the national team but like I said it’s just about time, I feel now the time is right so I feel like that’s the main factor. That was what motivated me to come,” he continued.  

“For about a good three to four years I have been following the national team. I have been following one of the pages that keeps me updated on the national team and players that are playing for the national team and how they’re doing in their respective countries where they’re playing their club football.”

Sierra Leone will hope to make their first appearance third appearance in the competition by defeating Benin.





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