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Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:41 UK

Cole is given Nations Cup task for Leone Stars

Mohammed Fajah Barrie
BBC Sport Freetown

Sierra Leone coach Christian Cole
Coach Cole has had several spells in charge of the Leone Stars

Veteran Sierra Leonean coach Christian Cole, has been given the task of leading the Leone Stars to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012.

Cole was already in charge of the locally based national team for the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

The 63-year- who was appointed in a care-taker capacity a few months ago, says he is delighted with the offer.

"I'm happy that the FA has given me the task to take Leone Stars to the next Nations Cup," he told BBC Sport.

The acting general secretary of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Abdul Rahman Swarray told the BBC they decided to stick with Cole as they couldn't come up with the money to hire a foreign coach.

Cole's appointment comes less than three weeks to Sierra Leone's first match in the qualifiers against Egypt in Cairo, and he says he is aware of the tough job ahead.

"I know it's a very difficult task to qualify the Leone Stars from a group where you have Egypt, South Africa and Niger," Cole said.

"All I'll say for now is that I like the challenge and I'm going to do my best.

"It's a great pleasure to serve my country as coach of Leone Stars," he concluded.

Cole is also the coach of local league side Mighty Blackpool and will remain in the post.

The former Sierra Leone international, first served as coach of Leone Stars in 1989 for the Amical Cabral sub-regional tournament in Mali and was also in charge of the team during the qualifiers of the 1992 Nations Cup in Senegal.

He was also in charge for two matches in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Liberia in Monrovia and Sudan in Freetown.

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see also
Sierra Leone 2012 setback
28 Feb 10 |  African
Bellamy's academy delivers hope
05 Jun 10 |  African

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