THE hype is building up ahead of the Community Shield match between the Mainland Premier League champions, Simba and Federation Cup winners, Azam FC this weekend at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Both Simba and Azam will be seeking for their first silverware of the season. The Saturday’s Shield match will usher in the 2019/2020 Mainland Premier League campaign.
Initially, the match was to be staged at the Samora Stadium in Iringa Region but the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) made change of heart and switched the match venue to the National Stadium on Saturday.
It will kick off at 7pm. Preparations for the epic match continue to rage on and the TFF said everything is in place for the match to be staged.
The highest entrance fees for fans wishing to watch the Community Shield match is 10,000/- for VIP B and C and 5,000/- for the remaining seats.
Good records of the both teams gives the clash its deserved high status and fans would want to see how the squads of the both sides fit for the tough local and international missions this season.
Azam who are the country’s envoys in CAF Confederation Cup boast a stockpile of local players as well as several foreign players, while Simba, who represent the country in CAF Champions League, parade a big number of foreign imports.
Simba’s Belgium tactician, Patrick Aussems will be targeting to pick up where the team left off last season to retain the Shield they won last season, after beating Mtibwa Sugar 2-1 at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza.
In fact, Simba will be looking for their first Shield on a trot. In 2017/2018 season, the Msimbazi Reds lifted the Shield after beating their traditional rivals Y oung Africans 5-4 on penalties at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Azam won the ASFC, while Simba clinched the Premier League diadem with overwhelmingly bright colours.
The Community Shield match comes as both Simba and Azam had already launched their respective campaign in CAF inter-club competitions.
The teams are currently busy to fine tune for the game, which is crucial for either side as they seek to make a perfect start to this season’s league.
Simba squad jetted in Dar es Salaam from Beira, Mozambique, where they left shortly after being held to a barren draw by hosts UD Songo in the CAF Champions League preliminary round, first leg clash last Saturday.
Their rivals, Azam are also back in Dar es Salaam from Ethiopia, where they lost 1-0 to Fasil Ketema in CAF Confederation Cup, preliminary round, first leg clash.
And, both teams will use the Community Shield match as a perfect warm up for their respective return leg matches in the continental club championships, which they face a must win situation at home.
In run up to the Shield match, coach Aussems will be looking to add more silverware accolades in his club’s shelves after guiding Simba to the league title last season, while Burundian Etienne Ndayiragije, will be eyeing for his first silverware as Azam boss.
While Simba had set up preseason camp in South Africa, their rivals were in Rwanda for the Kagame Cup tournament, which they also used to gauge their players ahead of the top flight league and CAF Confederation Cup campaign.
Simba have won Community Shield four times, while Azam won it once.