DAR ES SALAAM: FOOTBALL legends have urged Taifa Stars, players to double their efforts to produce tangible results in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The country’s envoys are already in Ivory Coast, ready for the high-profile continental showdown set to start on 13th of this month.
They were the third national team to land in Ivory Coast ahead of the finals.
Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday, former Young Africans player Bakari Malima said the deployed team for the AFCON mission has what it takes to do well and that they just need to take one match at a time.
“I watched the recent friendly game that the Stars played against Egypt and what I observed is that we have good players who can do wonders, they just need to be motivated and supported.
“I was particularly impressed with the way the players called for the first time performed, they are putting in much effort in comparison with some of the regulars,” Malima said.
“I believe Simon Msuva and Mbwana Samatta have what it takes to encourage young players to work hard for the sake of generating positive results that will make all Tanzanians happy,” he said.
Malima noted that another area that needs improvement is the attacking section, saying strikers should enhance their scoring efficiency.
“In AFCON matches, you do not expect to create many scoring opportunities as such, they should be smart enough to utilise the few chances they create,” he remarked.
Ex-Simba player Dua Saidi narrated that the performance shown by Stars versus Egypt in a friendly match was promising ahead of the final clashes.
“Of course, it could have been better if they engaged in at least two or three friendly matches of similar intensity like Egypt but, all is not lost, players just need to be motivated knowing that they are carrying the souls of millions of Tanzanians,” he said.
Furthermore, Dua reminded players that to be featured in the AFCON finals is a prestige as the competition is watched by many people around the world.
“They should know that it is a platform to sell their talents. Football agents will be present throughout the contest scouting players as such, they should showcase their full potential to win such a privilege,” he said.
Stars are placed in Group F, alongside Morocco, Zambia and DR Congo and their opening fixture comes on January 17th against Morocco before facing Zambia on January 21st while their last fixture is on January 24 versus DR Congo.
Immediately after the Egypt-friendly match, Taifa Stars coach Adel Amrouche revealed that he was not impressed with the performance of some players whom he challenged to pull up their socks.
“This is a reality, you saw, it is not about the names, we need players who can do something, I am happy with some players, equally I am not happy about some and they know that we do not have enough time to correct all of them,” he said.