Tanzania: Simba to Face New Azam Coach

AZAM FC will face reigning champions Simba SC tomorrow at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam under the tutelage of the new coach Aristica Cioaba who has replaced Etienne Ndayiragije.

Cioaba was officially paraded as the new coach for Azam in Dar es Salaam by the team's Chief Executive Abdulkarim Amin 'Popat' and he has since been reunited with the club he served during the 2017- 2018 league season.

His appointment has paved way for Ndayiragije to be a full time Head Coach for the senior national team, Taifa Stars following his current performance with the team after propelling it to the group stage of Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers and a latest feat in the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) respectively.

"We are happy to introduce Cioaba as the new coach who has signed a one-year contract and he will start working instantly upon finalising his work permits," Amin said.

He added that just like it was before, Cioaba has been accompanied by the physical trainer Costel Birsan.

In his words, Cioaba thanked the management of Azam for entrusting him again to take charge of the team.

"I am not new here, I know the team and the players know me well and are aware of my football philosophy," he said.

Meanwhile, Simba SC Head Coach Patrick Aussems said preparations for the sparkling league match against Azam FC are unfolding well.

The two giant teams which are yet to test defeat this season go head to head on the battle field knowing exactly that bagging maximum three points is the only possible mission for each team.

Defending champions Simba tops the 20-team ladder with 12 points from four matches whereas Azam are currently fourth with nine points.

Until now, Simba have scored more goals than any other team (10) and conceded 2 goals while Azam have netted five goals while conceding one goal.

Commenting on the game from their training base at Uhuru Stadium, Aussems said all is well in his squad and that morale among his players is exceptional.

"We are progressing well with training sessions since we have a big and tough match on Wednesday (tomorrow) which requires us to be in a good frame of mind," he said.

On his part, goalkeeper Beno Kakolanya said despite defeating them (Azam) in a community shield match, tomorrow's game will be totally different as such they need to prepare well.

"Azam is not a bad team. They have a quality squad and are among the feared team in the country hence we must not underrate them," Kakolanya said.

However, the good news for Simba fans is that captain John Bocco may play during the clash as he has been training separately with his colleagues for the past two days.

The former Azam 'hitman' has missed all the opening matches for his side this season due to injury a situation which prompted Aussems to use Rwandan import striker Meddie Kagere in all the games they have played.

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