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Penalty expert Kaseja eager to earn Taifa Stars re-call

VETERAN goalkeeper, Juma Kaseja said he is now fit and believes that he will be included in the next national team, Taifa Stars squad to be named for CHAN and AFCON games.

Kaseja was the surprise omission from the Taifa Stars squad which competed in the CECAFA senior Challenge Cup in Kampala, Uganda late last year. Kaseja suffered a leg injury and has been out of action for the past three months but he has since recovered and started light training.

“My doctor has already given me a green light to return on the battlefield but he recommended that I should start by training on the sand and I give him feedback every time I finish my exercise session in case I feel pain on my body,” he said.

Further, Kaseja said players are called to join the national team basing on their fitness levels and that when he was sidelined in the past squad; He was not surprised bearing on the fact that he was injured such that those who were fit had to fill the void.

“It is obvious that when you train hard, the coach become interested in you and you get an opportunity to be named in his squad. Now, I will fight to regain my momentum and I believe that in the next selection, I will be there,” said Kaseja.

Taifa Stars was among several national teams on the continent which were affected by the abrupt suspension of the 2021 Africa Cup of the Nations (AFCON) qualifiers and this year's Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) finals, which were planned to kick off on April 4th to 25th in Cameroon.

The halting of both major competitions were taken as a step forward to fight against the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which has shaken the entire world with new cases and deaths reported daily.

Before the camp was disbanded, Stars Head Coach, Etienne Ndayiragije had summoned a total of 35 players, of which, majority were set to feature in both the CHAN finals and 2021 AFCON qualifiers.

Young Africans midfielder Mapinduzi Balama had earned debut call up in the national senior team squad, Taifa Stars, as Shomari Kapombe also made a comeback after brief early retirement.

Apart from Balama, there are several other new faces in the squad, including Kelvin Kijiri (KMC), David Bryson (Gwambina), Dickson Job (Mtibwa), Said Makapu (Young Africans), Bryson  Raphael (Azam FC), Reliant Lusajo (Namungo FC ), Lucas Kikoti (Namungo FC) and Sixtus Sabilo from Polisi Tanzania. 

Central defender Abdi Banda, who features for South Africa's side, Highlands Park had also been recalled in the squad. Banda fell out with former Stars boss Nigerian Emmanuel Amunike.

Ndayiragije also recalled Simba right wingback Kapombe, who was out of the team due to frequent recurring injuries before announcing his decision to pulling out of the team.

In CHAN, Tanzania is packed in group D together with Zambia, Namibia and Guinea with many pundits predicting that it is a fair pool for the country's envoys.

WITH the current season put on hold due ...

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Author: BENJAMIN BEN

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