MAINLAND Premier Champions, Simba’s squad has received a major boost ahead of their Saturday’s league clash against hosts Ndanda FC at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara with return of their foreign players.
Four foreign players – Ugandans Emmanuel Okwi and Jjuuko Murshid as well as two Rwandese Meddie Kagere and Haruna Niyonzima were supposed to have rejoined the team, while Zambian midfielder, Cletous Chama was expected to join the team today.
The players have reinforced the squad, after completing their assignments with their respective national sides in the last weekend’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers break.
Okwi and Jjuuko were with Uganda national side the Cranes, in group L of the AFCON qualifiers against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in Kampala, Uganda which ended in barren draw. Kagere and Niyonzima were with Rwanda’s ‘Amavubi’ in the battle against Ivory Coast ‘Les Elephants’ in group H match which ended in a 2-1 for the visitors.
Midfielder, Chama also went back to Zambia to join his Chipolopolo colleagues in their group K of the qualifiers tie against Namibia, which also ended in a 1-1 draw in Windhoek.
The Msimbazi Reds are scheduled to head to Mtwara today and according to one of the club’s officials 20 players will make the trip.
Simba’s and Taifa Stars first choice shot stopper, Aishi Manula has already rejoined the camp after returning back from Uganda, ready for the Mtwara assignment. Manula was the only Simba player in the Stars’ squad, after six of his colleagues were expelled from the team for late reporting.
The players who were axed from Stars were skipper, John Bocco, Shomari Kapombe, Jonas Mkude, Hassan Dilunga, Shiza Kichuya and Erasto Nyoni.
However, the official said that midfielder Muzamir Yassin, who got married last week will miss the Saturday’s game as he is among the players in the injury list.
Saturday encounter against Ndanda will be the first away league match for Simba’s Belgian tactician, Patrick Aussems, who won his first two league tests against Tanzania Prisons 1-0 and Mbeya City 2-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.