THE national soccer team, Taifa Stars, head coach Kim Poulsen has named a 24-man squad for the forthcoming international friendly clash against African Champions Zambia, in which he has recalled Zanzibar Heroes skipper Nadir Haroub.
The no-nonsense Young Africans centre back returns to the fold after being overlooked for a couple of months but there was no place for Azam goalkeeper Deogratius Munishi, who has been axed in favour of his U-20 teammate, Aishi Mangula.
Also joining Poulsen's side for the match at the National Stadium on December 22 is Zanzibar Heroes and Azam's attacking midfielder Mcha Hamis Mcha, who impressed during the recently concluded CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup. Simba goalkeeper Juma Kaseja retains his place alongside Azam's Mwadini Ally.
There are two foreign-based players in his squad. They are Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu who ply their trade at DR Congo's TP Mazembe. Simba duo of Ramadhani Singano and Edward Christopher, who were in the Mainland team, Kilimanjaro Stars, which participated in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda, have been left out.
Unveiling the team yesterday, Kim said that the two young strikers did not receive call-ups due to limited first team action at the club level and the Dane argued that they should be playing regularly for Simba or find first-team action elsewhere. With the exception of Mangula, the rest of the players represented either Kilimanjaro Stars or Zanzibar Heroes during the Challenge Cup.
The coach said his selection based on the performance of the players during the regional tournament, adding that discipline and commitment are the other factors he considered when picking up the squad. Full squad and the teams they feature for
in brackets include goalkeepers; Juma Kaseja (Simba), Mwadini Ally (Azam/ Zanzibar) and Aishi Mangula (Azam). Defenders; Nassoro Masoud 'Chollo' (Simba/Zanzibar), Shomari Kapombe (Simba), Amiri Maftah (Simba), Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Agrey Moris (Azam/Zanzibar), Samii Haji Nuhu (Azam/Zanzibar) Issa Rashidi (Mtibwa Suigar), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga) and Nadir Haroub (Yanga/Zanzibar).
Midfielders: Shaabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar), Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba), Amri Kiemba (Simba), Salumu Abubakari (Azam), Frank Domayo (Yanga), Athumani Idd (Yanga), Mcha Khamisi (Azam/Zanzibar).
Strikers: Simon Msuva (Yanga), Thomasi Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe), Mbwana Samatta (TP Mazembe), John Bocco (Azam) and Mrisho Ngassa (Simba) The team move into camp today ahead of the friendly and will be training at the Karume Memorial Stadium from Wednesday.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and their Zambian counterparts (FAZ) have lined up the match to gauge the latter's readiness before launching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title defence in South Africa next year as well as provide the Tanzanian outfit a strengthtesting platform. After their match against Zambia, the Stars' players will have a two-week break before they resume training on January 6 to 20 when the team is expected to play two more friendlies in preparation for the World Cup qualifier against Morocco.