29 December 2012

Tanzania: Simba Seek to Gulp Tusker

MAINLAND champions Simba will play host to Kenya champions Tusker FC in a friendly match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this evening.

This will be a second international friendly match for Tusker FC before heading to Zanzibar for the Mapinduzi Tournament that kicks off on Tuesday.

Simba will also be competing in the annual Zanzibar tournament Tusker defeated Yanga FC 1-0 on Wednesday in their first friendly match with Ishmael Dunga scoring the lone goal of the match from the spot.

According to the club's Information Officer, Ezekiel Kamwaga, Simba will use its full strength squad, which will include players recruited in the just concluded mini-transfer window. Among the player include Ugandan international goalkeeper Abel Dhaira, who has signed a two-year deal to feature for Simba.

Dhaira, the Uganda Cranes first-choice shot stopper, has joined the Msimbazi Street based 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.

Zambian striker Felix Sunzu, is set to rejoin the team and was due in Dar es Salaam yesterday, while Uganda ace striker Emmanuel Okwi and Dhaira will arrive today ready for the match. Both Simba and Tusker will use the match as part of their preparation for the CAF Champions League.

Tusker first Champions League match will be against St. Michel from Seychelles in mid February 2013, while Simba will start their campaign against Recreativo Libolo of Angola. Simba will also be celebrating the arrival of their new coach Frenchman--Patrick Liewig.

He will straight away head to the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam to witness an international friendly encounter, which will give him an insight on the kind of job he is going to undertake. Simba are set to appoint Liewig, a former manager of the Paris Saint Germain Academy as their new coach.

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. French coach was initially set to arrive in Dar es Salaam yesterday but he failed to get flight ticket.

Liewig will be assisted by Ugandan Mosses Basena, who is returning to the team's technical bench after just one year, while Jamhuri Kihwelo is a new team manager. 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.

Liewig was nominated along 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.

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