NATIONAL football team, Taifa Stars stepped up training ahead of their trip to Cairo, Egypt, for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, set to kick off on June 21st to July 19th this year.
Stars moved into camp over the weekend, under Head Coach, Nigerian Emmanuel Amunike and the team is training twice a day at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Taifa Stars is pooled in group C alongside Senegal, Algeria as well as East African counterparts Kenya's Harambee Stars.
Almost all players are said to have reported in camp with an exception of Himid Mao, who features for Egyptian side Petro Jet and was involved in the league match over the weekend.
There have been contradicting reports of the fitness of right wing back, Shomari Kapombe, with initial reports suggesting that he had suffered an injury setback but the player insisted that he is fit, only that he has been directed to undergo individual fitness regimes to regain his full fitness after being out of action for the past six months.
Taifa Stars will leave for Egypt on Friday where they will camp for the finals and play two friendly matches against hosts Egypt on June 13th and later face Zimbabwe few days before the tournament's kick off.
Stars will be making the second appearance in the continental finals after missing for 39 years. The squad will lock horns with Senegal in the opening game and later face Kenya before completing the group stage with a clash with Algeria.
Meanwhile, Senegal national team head coach Aliou Cisse has not included any home-based team on the 25-man provisional team for AFCON 2019. Coach Cisse has maintained 16 players from the 2018 World Cup squad as they aim for their first continental title. The team will be later trimmed to the mandatory 23 players who will be used for the final tournament which kicks off on 21st June 2019.
Newly crowned UEFA Champions League winner Sadio Mane of Liverpool football club, the poster boy for the team leads the seven forwards on the team.
The other centre forwards includes Rennes' Ismaila Sarr, Keita Balde (Inter Milan, Italy), Mbye Niang (Rennes, France), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, Turkey) and Nimes' Sada Thioub.
Cisse will be guiding Senegal at the AFCON finals for the second time. Senegal Provisional Team: Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (Spal, Italy), Edouard Mendy (Reims, France) Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Moussa Wague (FC Barcelona, Spain), Pape Abdou Cisse (Olympiacos, Greece), Salif Sane (Schalke,Germany), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe, Turkey), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, England) Midfielders:
Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga, Spain), Santy Ngom (Nancy, France), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Keprin Diatta (Club Brugge, Belgium), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Galatasaray, Turkey), Sidy Sarr (Lorient, France), Henri Saivet (Bursaspor, Turkey) Forwards: Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France), Keita Balde (Inter Milan, Italy), Mbaye Niang (Rennes, France), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, Turkey), Sada Thioub (Nimes, France), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England)