FOOTBALL history in the country has been rewritten and as for the first time; the Mainland Premier League has reinstated the twenty-team format. This means next season more teams will be taking part after putting to an end the16-team system.
This is a clear indication that football standards are improving in the country as more teams will be able to get a chance of trading in the top flight league and not merely to just participate, but to compete and expose as many talented players as possible whose wizardry has been in the vacuum due to limited number of teams which the league afforded.
Last season, three teams namely Singida United, Lipuli FC and Njombe Mji stepped into the Mainland League and their deeds are openly being seen by sports fans across the nation. For instance, United have shown that success in football goes hand in hand with investment meaning that the more you invest in your team, the more you reap tangible results which are beneficial to the club and supporters hence basing on this context, the Singida based lads are now in top five of the league standings and among the active title contenders.
Dar es Salaam once again has made headlines after producing two teams into the top flight league which are African Lyon and Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC) meaning that the region will be represented by five teams.
Others are JKT Tanzania from Coastal Region, Alliance FC from Mwanza, Coastal Union from Tanga and Biashara Mara from Mara. Sports fans in the nation are eager to see how these teams will cope with the tense and highly competitive league which most often becomes harder as the competition progresses.
However, it is not too late for these fresh teams to start their home works early before the commencement of the league as it is widely known that being relegated is easy than to be promoted into the top flight league. Unlike the past seasons when three teams had to be exited from the league, this season only two teams will be relegated so as to pave way for the incoming six sides.
The main challenge top flight league teams face still remains lack of playing grounds, a situation that prompts many of them to use communally owned venues something which in most cases create inconveniences. Normally the new league season starts in August, hence six months before its kick off must be well utilized for preparing setups that can meet the premiership requirement.
Biashara Mara, who seen the newest face in the next season's premiership have assured Mara residents an opportunity to watch Premier League games, we expect this to propel them rally behind their team whenever it plays in or outside venues.
Also poised to see the league challenges for the first time are Alliance of Mwanza whose seem to take over from further relegated Toto African. But to Coastal Union, African Lyon and JKT Tanzania they have already seen the league, but this time around we don't expect them to fall prey to their opponents' machineries.