THE moment Mohammed Dewji took 49 per cent stake at Simba SC, he prioritized the development of the club’s new training facility at Bunju in Dar es Salaam, which opened door yesterday.
And, for Simba fans, members, players and officials, it was pomp and fanfare as the club opened two training grounds, which the leaders say will to great extent help cut running costs.
It is said that the club was spending at least 300,000/- to 500,000/- daily to hire training grounds.
Yesterday morning in glorious sunshine and later rain, the first football was kicked at Bunju Park – and the first team is set to begin training on the immaculately prepared surface of the two grounds— one with the artificial grass and the other with natural grass.
The first team is expected to call Bunju Park their home and this happens after 83 years since the club was established.
Though the exact cost of the project was not immediately established but the club officials insisted that the size and scale of the project should not be underestimated.
Simba have a total of 19 acres in the area and further developments in the area are on horizon.
“The natural evolution of our club has seen it moving forward and this investment in Bunju proves our commitment to grow stronger… as we continue to invest in the elite player performance for the Mainland Premier League and continental tournaments. And as we plan structure for elite Academies, new facilities became necessary to match the club’s ambition and objectives for the future,” said Interim Chairman Mwina Kaduguda.
The club’s Chief Excecutive Officer (CEO) Senzo Mazingiza said every Simba fan and member should be proud of the new facilities.
He said the pitches are now ready for action, however development of the facility will continue apace for the second phase. Simba skipper John Bocco said thanked the club’s leadership for the milestone achievement.
“We really thank our leaders for developing these projects. This investment in the project has been extraordinary and it is now beginning to blossom…it will certainly give us players’ morale to fight for our team,” he said.
Bocco also thanked hundreds of thousands of Simba fans, who flocked the venue to have firsthand experience of the two new facilities.
“This is a historic day for us and we really thank everyone especially our Board Chairman Mo Dewji for making this a reality,” said member of the board Asha Baraka.
According to the former chairman of the club Hassan Dalali, who was the brain child behind the project, Bunju was always the ideal location for the club’s new training facility; 20km west of the city centre as it provides cool and calm environment for player to concentrate.
And, once fully complete, it will create an idyllic environment which will benefit both staff and players alike.
Meanwhile, all is not well at Young Africans as reports within the club had it that at least five foreign players have requested to prematurely end their contract with the club.
Four strikers—Zambian Mybin Kalengo, Congolese David Molinga, Ugandan Juma Balinya and Namibian Sadney Urikhob as well as Ghanaian defender, Lamine Moro have all tabled request to end their contracts allegedly for unpaid salaries.
It is reported that the players have not been paid their salaries for the past three months.