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Registration window: It’s a make or break time

THE window for registration of new players in readiness for the new Premier League season is already open and the exercise does not look very promising with some of the clubs reported to be dropping not less than ten players.

The very act of dropping even five players means the past registration exercise was not carried out diligently. And for those schooled in Tanzanian soccer know the main source of such a problem.

It simply means that those who had been entrusted with the task of recruiting new players for the club had done a shoddy work not because they were unaware of the quality of the players they were recruiting, far from it; but because they had lined up their pockets instead of spending the money on quality players!

And that has for a very long time been the main problem of Simba and Young Africans. The two clubs’ hangers-on have done more damage to the clubs than good. The former has succeeded in getting rid of such a problem but the latter is still grappling with the problem.

For Young Africans, they will have to introduce a lot of new changes in recruiting of players if they want to get away from the club’s hangers-on who have not only made a profession out of cheating the club, but also hold club leaderships to ransom.

Simba Sports Club’s investor got rid of the problem last season when he recruited the club’s Chief Executive Officer from South Africa, a man highly learned in matters relating to soccer administration. Before the arrival of the club’s CEO, every Tom, Dick and Harry in the club who claimed to know a thing or two about soccer could be given money and recruit players for the club.

And that’s when people went for their stomach rather than the very club they claimed to be supporting. But they cheated the investor and the club only once. And that would lead to the elimination of Simba from the CAF Champions League in the preliminary rounds of the tournament.

After being cheated out of his money the investor changed tactic. And the rest is of course history. That’s what Young Africans need to do if they want to get rid of the problem of getting below par players. Indeed, you cannot off load more than ten players if past recruitment had been done well.

Those who witnessed Young Africans’ performance in the league can testify to the club’s poor performance. Therefore the off-loading of over ten players is not surprising. The club just like their arch soccer rivals would have to deal, this season, with members who cheat the club whenever it comes to recruiting of new players for the club.

As I have had occasions to note in the past, we need a very strong Young Africans that can take on Simba and reduce their dominance in the league. We need to get to a level where Simba, Young Africans matches are unpredictable.

Only when the strength of the two teams is more competitive will this country benefit from the game. Simply put, we need all our teams to be more than competitive. Only a strong league can lead to the production of teams that can take on the best in the world.

If you look around closer home in the sub-Sahara Africa you would realize that countries which won Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON and continental clubs championships like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zambia did so because they had very strong domestic league.

Early in 1996, South Africa won AFCON when they hosted the tournament. Before the end of the year, Orlando Pirates won the Champions League. Mamelodi Sundown have done the same thing and so has Zambia and the DRC done the same thing between 1974 and 2020.

TP Mazembe has won the Champions League and the Confederation Cup five times between them after their national soccer team, Les Leopards did not only win AFCON in 1974, but it also became the first black nation to play in the Fifa World Cup.

But if you look at the domestic league of the DRC, Zambia and South Africa you will note that they have better and strong domestic league than what we have and that explains why both their national soccer teams and clubs are stronger than what we have.

That is why we need a very strong Young Africans, Simba and Azam FC. I have singled out the three clubs because the first two, have fans galore and to me that is money. The third club, Azam FC has plenty of money and it is actually a shame that it should not be the leading club in the country.

But we know why they are still where they are. They have allowed weaklings to lead the club. They need to get professional guys to take the reign of the club. They need to model the club in the same way they have done their business and media which are second to none in sub-Saharan Africa.

If Azam FC can judiciously use the money they have in soccer, I wouldn’t be surprised if they became the first Tanzanian club to win the Champions League or the continent’s Confederation Cup. Going by the kind of infrastructure they already have at their disposal, it is a shame that they have to date failed to produce the best soccer academy players.

My message to Young Africans management is simple. Get us this time the right crop of players. You need to give your arch soccer rivals, Simba a run for their money.

But they can only do that if they make good use of the present registration window. It is time the club made use of former players who know the best local players and leave recruitment of foreign players to the new, foreign coach. We wish them all the best.

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Author: ATTILIO TAGALILE

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