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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Former England defender Caulker joins Sierra Leone squad

09:42 GMT+3 04/01/2022
Steven Caulker - Gaziantep
The 30-year-old has joined John Keister's side in preparing for the tournament that will begin in Cameroon on Sunday

Former England defender Steven Caulker has arrived in the Sierra Leone camp ahead of the start of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The former Liverpool defender who made just an appearance for the Three Lions, recently completed his international switch to Sierra Leone and he has been included in the Leone Stars' final 28-man squad for the competition in Cameroon.

Following his season-long loan move from Fenerbahce, Caulker has played 16 Super Lig matches for Gaziantep this season with two goals to his name.

His presence is expected to boost Sierra Leone's defence when they make their third appearance on the Afcon stage next week.

"Steven Caulker will bring a lot more experience in the squad, particularly at the back," Keister told BBC Sport Africa.

"He'll bring a bit more height in the defence, more talking in the field and he'll help us in terms of which way we want to go and gearing everyone at their work.

"He will support the older guys in the team, which gives us a spine right through the middle."

Keister's men are in Group E with Algeria, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea, and they will start their campaign against defending champions, the Desert Foxes at the Japoma Stadium on January 11.

Caulker is just one of the foreign-based players who will fly Sierra Leone's flag in Cameroon from Sunday. Others are Wycombe Wanderers' Sullay Kaikai, Peterborough United's Idris Kanu, Orebro's Kevin Wright, Wealdstone's David Sesay, QPR's Osman Kaykay, LA Galaxy's Augustine Williams, Neuchatel Xamax's Umaru Bangura, Rot Weiss Ahlen's Daniel Francis, Kesla's John Bankole Kamara, Vikingur Reykjavic's Kwame Quee, Real Balompedica Linense's Alhassan Koroma, AGF's Mustapha Bundu, Randers' Alhaji Kamara, Henan Songshan's Mohamed Buy Turay and HIFK's Kei Kamara.