Bellamy academy graduate Mustapha Bundu gets Sierra Leone call-up
Mustapha Bundu says the Craig Bellamy academy in Sierra Leone was key to his football development.
Denmark-based Mustapha Bundu is set to be the first graduate from Craig Bellamy's now defunct football academy to play for Sierra Leone.
The 21-year old striker is on coach John Keister's 35-man provisional squad for their away 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia.
The Group F encounter is scheduled to take place in Hawass on September 9.
"It means the world to me as it's the dream of every player to play for his or her country," Bundu told BBC Sport.
"It also means a lot to my family because my dad never had the chance to play for Leone Stars when he was a footballer."
Bundu, who plays for Danish top-flight side AGF Aarhus, has his sights on helping Sierra Leone quality for the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 1996.
"I'm looking forward to make my international debut against Ethiopia and I'll try to give out my best to help my country qualify for the 2019 Afcon finals."
He says the academy in Sierra Leone set up by the former Wales and Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy, which officially closed almost two years ago, helped shape his career.
"The academy played great role in my career, it's where everything started," he added.
"It's where I spent four years learning and was a perfect place for young boys. I'm grateful."
Coach Keister's list includes 26 foreign based players and Bundu isn't the only new invitee.
Other new faces are the England based trio of Amadou Bakayoko of Coventry City, Osman Kakay of QPR and goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay of Bristol City.
In-form striker Mohamed Buya Turay who moved to Belgian top flight league club Sint Truiden early this month after netting nine goals in the ongoing Swedish league is in the squad, and he too is seeking to make his Leone Stars debut.
Moldova-based forward Alhaji Kamara returns to the squad for the first time since he was diagnosed with heart disease in February 2016.
Old faces such as FC Zurich's Umaru Bangura, Vancoucer Whitecaps' forward Kei Ansu Kamara and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Mohamed Kamara are included.
Sierra Leone are presently second in Group F of the qualifiers after their 2-1 win over Kenya, Ghana top the pool on goal difference.
Sierra Leone squad:
Goalkeepers: Solomon Zombo Morris (FC Dieppe, France), Alhaji Sesay, (Bristol City England), Mohamed N Kamara (FC Johansen), (John Trye, Scarborough SC, Canada), Unisa Koroma (East End Lions FC).Defenders: Umaru Bangura (FC Zurich, Switzerland) David Simbo (Kurtulusspor Turkey), Hassan Milla Sesay (FC Lathi, Finland), Abu Suma (Unattached) Osman Kakay (QRR, England), Alie Sesay (AOX Kissamikos Greece), Yeami Dunia (Standard FC), Kemson Fofanah (B93 Danmark)
Midfielders: Mohamed Medo Kamara (Kuwait SC, Kuwait) Alfred Sankoh (Al-Jabalain, Saudi Arabia), Michael Lahoud FC Cincinnati, USA) John Kamara (FC Kaisar Kazakhstan), Khalifa Jabbie (Unattached), Abdul Sesay (TP47, Finland), Kwame Quee (UMF Vikingur, Iceland), Julius Wobay (Unattached), Nathaniel Tongovullah (Ports Authority FC) Ibrahim Conteh (PSIS FC, Malaysia) George Davies (FC Riga, Latvia)
Forwards: Kei Kamara (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada), Alhassan Kamara (BK Hacken, Sweden) Alhaji Kamara (FC Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), Christian Moses (Viborg FF, Danmark), Mustapha Bundu (AGF Arhus, Denmark) Mohamed Buya Turay (Sint Truiden Belgium), Amadou Bakayoko (Coventry City), Sheka Fofanah (Al Nassr FC, Oman), Abu Bakarr Kargbo (Berliner AK, Germany), Alimamy Mohamed Bundu (FC Kallon) Abdul Bangura (Unattached)