14 December 2012

Tanzania: Simba's French Coach to Sign Deal After Christmas

PREMIER League champions Simba are set to appoint former manager of the Paris Saint Germain Academy coach Patrick Liewig as their new coach, it has been learnt.

Liewig has been earmarked by the Simba management as the outstanding candidate to replace Serbian Milovan Cirkovic, who guided the club to league glory last season. Liewig coached Asec Mimosas of Cote D'Ivoire between 2004 and 2009, winning a couple of domestic cups and leading the club to the semi-finals of the African Champions League in 2009.

According to Simba General Secretary, Evodius Mtawala, the Frenchman will be joining the Tanzanian side after Christmas. Liewig was nominated with the coach of the Egyptian national team and the coach of Al Ahly for the award of the best coach of Africa in 2006, the award won by Egypt coach Hassan Shehata, winner of the African Cup of Nations 2006.

Meanwhile, Ugandan international goalkeeper Abel Dhaira has spoken of his delight after signing a two-year deal to feature for Mainland Premier League champions Simba. Dhaira, the Uganda Cranes first-choice shot stopper, has joined the Msimbazi Streetbased giants following the expiry of his contract with previous club, IBV of Iceland.

The 25-years old towering custodian is rated as one of the best goalkeepers in the CECAFA region and is set to challenge long serving Simba goalie Juma Kaseja for the number one jersey. Dhaira, who will reportedly be earning 2m/- monthly salary, said he was excited to be joining the Tanzanian outfit and promised to do his best for all Simba fans.

"Simba is one of the top clubs in Africa and plays in the African Champions League, there are many friends and compatriots playing here... Musa Mudde and Emmanuel Okwi, but East Africa is one and Simba players all are brothers to me, I'll feel at home," Dhaira said.

He returned to Uganda to pack his bags ahead of launching his Simba career. Dhaira competed at the 2012 CECAFA Cup, where he was hospitalised following a collision with an opposition player. He has also played club football in Uganda, the Congo and Iceland for Express, URA and AS Vita and made his international debut for Uganda in 2009.

Chairman of Simba registration committee, Zacharia Hans Poppe, was equally delighted to have secured the deal for Dhaira and see the Ugandan eagle-eyed shot stopper as a valuable addition to their squad, which has been over reliant on Kaseja for the past decade.

'We are happy to have made this signing, I think we got the right player at the right time, no one is unaware of his quality, now we are looking forward to reaping the benefit of this signing," Hans Poppe commented. According to Hans Poppe, the Premier League champions' move for the former Express keeper was proposed by skipper Kaseja and expects the two to build a strong relation.

Kaseja came under fire from a section of Simba fans during the closing stages of the first round of the domestic season, with the fans condemning his form between the posts. In contrast, Dhaira has had an unforgettable season. He was voted goalkeeper of the year in the Iceland League besides winning the Player of the Year award at his club - IBV Vestmannaeyjar.

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