Ansu Sirleaf, former no-nonsense defender of LPRC-Oilers and the national team, Lone Star, who lives in Philadelphia but is presently visiting Liberia, has been speaking on the Former LPRC Employees Association in the United States.
The following are excerpts of the interview he held with the Daily Observer yesterday in Monrovia. He first explained his mission to Liberia.
AS: It is two-fold and the first is to inform the management of the LPRC about the willingness of former employees now in the United States to provide some assistance to the Oilers Sports Association (OSA) and the second is on family issues.
DO: I understand that you did meet with the LPRC management; what was the outcome?
AS: At the meeting with the management, we were able to share our vision to join to provide support to the teams, both soccer and the basketball. We will now receive from the management the teams’ specific needs or roles that we can play from the United States.
DO: How many members are in the organization?
AS: I have on record 150 former employees of LPRC. The administration centers on Mr. Tenesio Tarpeh as chairman, I’m the vice chairman and Dr. Alex Johnson is the financial secretary. We presented a set of jerseys and 8 footballs to the football team and the basketball materials will be coming soon.
DO: You have been away for a while now, and visiting home, I am imagining you came in contact with some of your friends and others at the LPRC?
AS: That’s true. The three of us, as I mentioned earlier, met with some former LPRC officials, as well as the current management team. We met with Mr. Edwin Zelee, Coach Kadalla Kromah, Mr. Max Dennis, Senator Geraldine Doe, former defender Teah Dennis, Paul and James Jappah, Coach Kaetu Smith and many others that we honored with certificates of our appreciation for what they did for us.
DO: What is the objective of the Former LPRC Employees Association?
AS: Aware that we reside in different states across the United States, we felt it would be necessary for us to be there for each other. It is like a family thing, an idea that is gaining support. To a word I can say the objective is: ‘Being there for each other as a family of former LPRC employees.’ We intend to also meet every year in a reunion as a family.
DO: Let’s come back to your meeting with the current management of the LPRC. Did the management buy your idea?
AS: Yes. In fact Managing Director Sumo Kupee commended our farsightedness and promised to support our initiative of which we are grateful. We want to ensure that the Oilers Sports Association, now headed by former defender James Jappah, is able to cater to the interest of all the players to promote the corporation.
DO: What could be your final message to encourage others in the United States to emulate?
AS: Invincible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle—both teams have many former players and officials in the United States and so we are hoping that they can follow our example to do for each other as we are doing.
Former defender Ansu Sirleaf had a remarkable career and he featured regularly for Lone Star. He led LPRC-Oilers to many victories in the highly competitive national league in the 1990s, as well as in the CAF Cup Winners Cup (Mandela Cup).