AfricaPress-Tanzania: TAIFA Stars have intensified preparations ahead of their approaching international friendly match versus Malawi at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

The national seniour football moved into camp last Saturday, polishing their guns before meeting the neighbouring country. Malawi ‘The Flames’ are due to arrive in Dar’ es Salaam late this week for the match.

Speaking on the progress of the camp yesterday was the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Media and Communication Officer Clifford Ndimbo, who said everything was going on well.

“So far so good, morale in the camp is high and players are looking forward to the match. It is a very important game, which will help to give Head Coach Kim Poulsen a good balance prior to the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers matches,” said Ndimbo.

According to him, two players who are yet to join the camp are skipper Mbwana Samatta (Fenerbahce-Turkey) and attacking midfielder Simon Msuva (Wydad Casablanca –Morocco). Ndimbo said the duo will link up with their colleagues soon.

Asked why Taifa Stars are playing only one friendly match while other countries have lined up at least two friendly fixtures during this FIFA break, Ndimbo was not ready to respond to the question since it is technical based.

The full Poulsen’s brigade which was recently paraded comprises: Aishi Manula (Simba), Metacha Mnata (Young Africans), Juma Kaseja (KMC). Shomari Kapombe (Simba), Israel Mwenda (KMC), Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Simba), Bakari Mwamnyeto (Young Africans), Kennedy Juma (Simba), Dickson Job (Young Africans)and Nickson Kibabage (Youssoufla FC-Morocco),

Others are Simon Msuva (Wydad Casablanca-Morocco), Mudathir Yahya (Azam FC). Mzamiru Yassin (Simba), Feisal Salum (Young Africans),  Salum Abubakar (Azam), Braison Nkulula (Azam), Iddy Suleiman (Azam), Mbwana Samatta (Fenerbahce-Turkey) and John Bocco (Simba).

Also, the list contains Abdul Suleiman (Coastal Union), Ayoub Lyanga (Azam), Denis Kibu (Mbeya City), Meshack Abraham (Gwambina FC), Novatus Dismas (Maccabi Tel Aviv-Israel) and Yusuf Mhilu (Kagera Sugar).

In his brief remarks after naming the team, Poulsen narrated that the squad has a mix of experienced and inexperienced players, a thing he said was good to make balance.

“The intention is that when we go to the next camp in August, we do not want to change each and every one. We need to find the core group, the backbone of the team with technical and tactical quality.

“Players should also have mental strength to play for Taifa Stars. They should want to learn and improve,” he insisted.

Stars have a busy schedule coming up ahead of the looming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers where the country’s envoys are packed in group J together with DR Congo, Benin and Madagascar with each looking for the golden opportunity to qualify for the biggest football showpiece in the world.

Initially, the first batch of the qualifiers were slated to kick-off in June but they have now been pushed further to September, October and November this year.


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