Former Leone Stars head coach John Keister has penned a heartfelt farewell note to the players, staff, supporters, and government of Sierra Leone, thanking them for their unwavering support during his tenure.
Keister, whose three-year contract expired this month, led the Leone Stars to their first Africa Cup of Nations appearance in 26 years in 2021.
He also guided the team to a number of other notable achievements, including a historic win over Nigeria in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
In his farewell note, Keister expressed his gratitude to everyone who played a role in his success, including the players, coaching staff, supporters, government, and even his opponents.
"I am overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude and pride as my tenure as the head coach of our esteemed football team comes to an end," Keister wrote.
"This journey has been immensely wonderful with an extraordinary journey filled with unforgettable moments, remarkable achievements, and invaluable lessons each of which has left an indelible mark on my coaching career."
He continued, "Your unshakeable dedication, unwavering resilience, and commitment to excellence have been truly inspiring.
Witnessing your growth as athletes and individuals has been the most rewarding aspect of my coaching experience.
I am truly proud of the progress we have made and the triumphs we have celebrated together."
Keister also thanked the coaching staff for their expertise and tireless efforts, as well as the supporters for their passionate cheers and unwavering support.
"To our indelible and loyal supporters, thank you for your passionate cheers, unwavering support, and undying belief in our team.
Be it on overseas tours, our effort in qualifying to the Nations Cup and much more, your presence on the sidelines, in the stands, and in our hearts has been an incredible source of motivation and strength.
Your zest to our team has been the inspiration that has propelled us to greater heights," he wrote.
Keister concluded his farewell note by thanking his family for their support and expressing his confidence in the future of the Leone Stars team.
"I am confident that the future holds boundless possibilities for our team.
I have no doubt that, under new leadership, you will continue to soar to greater heights and achieve even more remarkable feats,"
"Embrace the challenges that lie ahead, embrace the suck and unite as a team, and let the passion for the game drive you towards continued success as the Stars that we are."
Keister's departure leaves a big hole to fill for the Sierra Leone Football Association, but his legacy will live on in the hearts of the players, staff, and supporters of the Leone Stars team.