THE national soccer team, Taifa Stars, entered camp on Wednesday evening in Dar es Salaam ready for the forthcoming international friendly clash against African Champions Zambia' Chipolopolo at the National Stadium on December 22.
According to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Information Officer, Boniface Wambura, Stars will be training at the Karume Memorial Stadium and the National Stadium, should the TFF secure a go ahead from the government to use the imposing venue for training sessions.
On Monday, Stars' head coach Kim Poulsen named a 24- man squad for the clash 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. 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). Football Association of Zambian (FAZ) have lined up the match to gauge the team'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 strength-testing 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.
Zambia coach, Herve Renard, has named a full strength side for the friendly, which include skipper Christopher Katongo and the legion of DR Congo's TP Mazembe stars including defender Stopilla Sunzu and striker, Given Singuluma. Playmaker, Rainford Kalaba is also back in the squad after recovering from a groin injury that saw him miss Zambia's final AFCON qualifier against Ugan- KIM Poulsen da and the Mandela Challenge.