Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

25 January 2013

Tanzania: Top-Tier League Should Be Competitive

THE second round of the Vodacom Premier League 2012-13 season kicks off this weekend with the battle for the title and Champions League and Confederation Cup places promising more excitement.

The emergence of several contenders has had even fans of Simba and Young Africans believing that the status quo no longer exists.

While most of the focus would be on defending champions Simba and Yanga, the free spending ways of new powerhouse, Azam, has continued to be among the 'biggest stories' in recent months. Simba and Yanga have been busy putting up fine final preparations for the last round of the league.

Their respective camps in Oman and Turkey where both spent at least two weeks, is expected to add much flair to the league. With the exception of Azam, Coastal Union and Mtibwa Sugar who are likely to put pressure on the giants, nothing much is expected from the rest of the teams basing on the kind of preparations they have had.

As predicted in the first round, Azam look set to be the team to upset the odds this season too. They finished second behind winners Simba last season. Again, they have gone out and splashed some serious cash over mini- transfer window and the arrival of new and experienced Uganda striker Brian Umwony, Kenyans Joseph Atudo, Geoffrey Mieno will definitely inspire them to keep pushing Simba and Yanga at the tight angle.

There is no doubt that their squad looks on paper now like a very strong premier league title contenders. It just depends whether or not they have the ability to transfer that potential into reality. A strong start to the second round and they could be in with very serious shout.

Whether it is healthy for the league to remain a two horse race, that is debatable but many soccer analysts believe that a strong league should have much even competitive teams.

Teams such as JKT Ruvu, Toto Africa, Kagera Sugar, Polisi Morogoro, African Lyon, Ruvu Shooting, Prisons, Mgambo JKT and Oljoro JKT are not showing seriousness to challenge in the league, the fact that will continue to make the league weak. Let's face it and prepare our teams well for a stronger premier league.

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