Africa Cup of Nations record

Previous appearances in finals: (2) 1994, 1996

Best performance: Group phase

Drawn in Group E with Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast

Coach: John Keister

Manchester-born Keister played English league football at Walsall and was a Sierra Leone international during a spell at non-league Margate, where his coaching career also started.

He went to Sierra Leone to coach at FC Johansen before taking over as national coach in 2017.

Key player: Steven Caulker Age: 30 Defender

Caulker played for England in a 2012 friendly against Sweden and scored but was never capped by them again, allowing him to consider switching allegiance to either Scotland or Sierra Leone, where he has family ties.

He opted for Sierra Leone last year and completed the paperwork just before Christmas and will make his debut at the Cup of Nations finals.

Caulker started his club career at Tottenham Hotspur and played at seven other English clubs before moving to Turkey in 2019, where he is now at Gaziantep.

FIFA world ranking Dec 2021: 108

How they qualified: Second place in Group L, behind Nigeria but ahead of Benin and Lesotho.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Isaac Caulker (Kallon FC), Mohamed N Kamara, Ibrahim Sesay (both East End Lions)

Defenders: Umaru Bangura (Neuchatel Xamax), Steven Caulker (Gaziantep), Yeami Dunia (East End Lions), Daniel Francis (Rot Weiss Ahlen), Osman Kakay (Queens Park Rangers), Saidu Mansaray (Bo Rangers), David Sesay (Wealdstone), Kevin Wright (Orebro)

Midfielders: Prince Barrie (Bo Rangers), Abu Dumbuya (East End Lions), Saidu Fofanah (Kallon FC), Issa Kallon (Cambuur Leeuwarden), John Kamara (Kesla), Mohamed Kamara (unattached), Saidu Kamara (Bo Rangers), Idris Kanu (Peterborough United), Alhassan Koroma (Linense), Kwame Quee (Vikingur)

Forwards: Mustapha Bundu (Aarhus), Sullay Kaikai (Wycombe Wanderers), Alhaji Kamara (Randers), Kei Kamara (HIFK Helsinki), Musa Kamara (East End Lions), Mohamed Turay (Henan Songshan), Augustine Williams (San Diego Loyal).