Mayele: Saido’s chase was heartache

YOUNG Africans striker Fiston Mayele admitted that his Simba’s counterpart Saidi Ntibazonkiza gave him a tense moment in his quest to claim the 2022/23 Premier League golden boot award.

He made the remarks in Dar es Salaam on Saturday as Yanga paraded their 29th league title they won last season using a top-open Bus saying it was a surprise to see the sudden return of Ntibazonkiza in the race of the award.

The duo have tied on 17 goals at the end of the season and who bags the golden boot award remain a puzzle pending on a decision to be made by the Awards Committee of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).

“Of course, it was something I did not expect…and from nowhere, he (Ntibazonkiza) surfaced and this brought a real challenge to me.

“For me, I was busy with CAF Confederation Cup matches where I focused a lot and by that time, I had 16 goals while those behind me had 10. This made me to relax without knowing that my former teammate (Ntibazonkiza) will challenge me,” said Mayele. He then described Ntibazonkiza as a good player who had a perfect season at both Geita Gold and Simba wishing him all the best in the upcoming campaign.

Moreover, Mayele disclosed that he was not supposed to play the two last league matches of last season but after seeing Ntibazonkiza had netted five goals against Polisi Tanzania, he had to book a ticket and travel to Mbeya to feature in the last match versus Tanzania Prisons.

He again conceded that the 2022/23 campaign was the best in his football career saying breaking his own record of netting 17 goals against 16 he netted in the 2021/22 season was extraordinary.

About his future at the Jangwani Street- based side, Mayele declined to comment further but admitted that he is receiving offers from many teams interested to sign him.

“Only God knows what will happen in the future, but for now, I have a contract with Yanga which I must honour,” he said while calling their fans to descend at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga as they take Azam in the finals of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) on Monday.

However, just like last season, the turnout of people to witness the parade ceremony was massive as others slowly marched with the Bus from Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) to the club’s headquarters at Jangwani Street in Kariakoo.

businesses were paralysed in the commercial city to pave way for the historic parade that usually attracts many people from different corners, coming together to support their team.

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