11 May 2017

Tanzania/Gabon: Serengeti Boys Given All-Clear After Tests

Photo: Daily News
Serengeti boys battling defending champions Mali in their U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Group B game at Stade de l'Amitie Sino in Libreville, Gabon.

Coaches breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as Serengeti Boys players were sanctioned to compete at the 2017 African Youth Championship (AYC) in Libreville, Gabon.

The Under-17 team players, who will launch their campaign against Mali in Group B on Monday, underwent tests (MRI) to confirm their ages on Tuesday and the organisers cleared them last evening.

Speaking with The Citizen from Gabon yesterday, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Youth Football Development chairman, Ayoub Nyenzi said all players were confirmed to be in the ages after the second round tests.

"We are delighted that no player is overage, so we will have available as the tournament kickoff draws closer. This is the second round of tests and they have proved that there is no age cheating," said Nyenzi.

According to him, the players were faring well at their Libreville camp, adding that the team was raring to face the defending champions, Mali, in the group B opener.

"The boys are doing great in training. We have no plan to play any friendly now because we've less than a week before the finals kick off," he said.

"We have a big match on Monday against Mali, but our players are brimming with confidence and have promised to make a flying start."

The tournament kicks off on Sunday with hosts Gabon and Guinea facing off in the Group A opener. The match will be followed by the Cameroon versus Ghana tie late in evening.

Libreville weather is more-or-less similar to that of Dar es Salaam, something the TFF official believes will enable Serengeti Boys to deliver by 100 per cent.

"We are lucky that the Libreville weather is just like that of Dar es Salaam. We have no complaints over that, it's just down to the players to deliver on the pitch," he added.

The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India in November.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Ramadhan Kabwili, Samwel Edward, Kelvin Kayego.

Defenders: Kibwana Ally Shomari, Nickson Kibabage, Israel Mwenda, Dickson Job, Ally Msengi, Issa Makamba, Enrick Vitalis Nkosi.

Midfielders: Kelvin Nashon Naftali, Ally Ng'anzi, Mohamed Rashid, Shaaban Ada, Mathias Juan, Marco Gerald, Abdulhamis Suleiman, Saidi Mussa , Cyprian Benedictor Mtesigwa.

Strikers: Muhsin Makame, Yohana Mkomola, Ibrahim Abdallah, Assad Juma and Abdul Suleiman.

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