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Sierra Leone set sights on Villa midfielder Reo-Coker

Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has been invited to play for Sierra Leone for the first time. BBC Sport has learnt that Leone Stars coach Christian Cole will pick the 26-year-old for October's 2012 Nations Cup qualifier at home to South Africa.

Reo-Coker is an English-born footballer of Sierra Leonean descent and has been seeking a senior career with England.

He captained England at Under-21 level and was on stand-by for England's 2006 World Cup squad despite being uncapped.

However, he had to withdraw from that position due to a back injury and is still eligible to play for the West African nation since he has yet to play for England at senior level.

The Sierra Leonean Football Association (SLFA), whose representatives have qualified for just two senior Nations Cups, have been chasing Reo-Coker for years.

And with the midfielder's England dreams seemingly over, SLFA general secretary Abdul Rahman Swarray is confident the Londoner may finally make the switch.

Swarray added that Reo-Coker has confirmed receipt of the SLFA's invitation for the 10 October clash in Freetown through his agent Tony Finnigan.

"From what I've heard from his agent, I'm confident that Reo will honour our invitation to play for his country of origin," said Swarray.

"We need a player like him to boost our team."

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