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Shime: Twiga Stars will conquer UNAF tourney

NATIONAL women football team, Twiga Stars Head Coach Bakari Shime said his side is ready to register positive results in the Union of North African Federations (UNAF) tournament underway in Tunisia.

Tanzania and Mauritania have been invited to take part in the competition replacing Egypt and Libya, which withdrew from competing in this year' s UNAF edition.

The tournament began yesterday and will run up to February 25th with five teams Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Tanzania and the hosts Tunisia geared up to claim the title.

Speaking on Friday via a telephone interview from Tunisia, Shime said his squad is well prepared to shine and win the UNAF title for the first time.

“The most important thing is that we have arrived safely and that we need to adapt to the cold weather very fast before we start our fixtures in the competition,” he said.

He added that despite the long trip, his players are all active and looking forward to produce another wonderful performance as they are known for in most competitions they partake.

“Today (yesterday), we will have recovery training sessions to keep the players in good shape and drive out long trip fatigue (jet lag) so that they can start focusing on the games ahead them,” Shime said.

He however conceded that they are aware how tough the competition is bearing in mind that they will be facing competitive teams from North Africa bus insisted that doing well is what they aim for.

“As a country, we want to commit ourselves in developing women football that is why whenever we get a chance to compete in any contest, we do not hesitate but rather embrace the opportunity with both hands,” said he.

Again, Shime disclosed that they want to reap something positive from the UNAF tournament since the deployed players are the ones who will fight for the country in the upcoming qualifying phase of the women' s world cup.

Tanzania Under-20 women' s team will face Senegal in the first leg of the world cup qualifiers on 21st March in Senegal with the return match set on March 27th at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Moreover, the country' s Under-17 women' s football team will battle it up against Uganda in the first match of the world cup qualifiers on March 1st at the National Stadium in the city with the reverse clash on March 14th in Kampala, Uganda.

On her part, one of the team' s players Esther Mabanza said basing on the level of preparations they have had, the team is fit for the good results.

" We have a strong energy and so far, we have met with nothing negative to get us out of the upcoming matches," she said.

Players who made the trip to Tunisia are; Tausi Abdallah, Anastazia Katunzi, Enekia Kasonga, Juliet Singano, Happy Hezron, Fatuma Issa, Fatuma Hassan and Amina Ally.

Others are Diana Lucas, Asha Rashid, Mwanahamisi Omary, Philomena Daniel, Opa Clement, Violeth Machela, Fatuma Hatibu, Asha Hamza, Eva Jackson, Zubeda Owen, Ester Mabanza and Aisha Masaka.

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