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‘Taifa Stars ripe for CHAN finals’

NATIONAL Team ‘Taifa Stars’ Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije believes his team is ripe for African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals in Cameroon.Ndayiragije made the remarks after the Tuesday’s international friendly match against Democratic Republic of Congo and the two teams drew 1-1 at the end of a thrilling game at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

“First I have got the First Eleven; we started training on the 9th to 11th a day before the encounter. I would like to congratulate the players as they did quite well because I know they were physically exhausted as I tried so hard to push them to finish 90 minutes.”

“So after the game, I figured out we could do better, but we have seen some challenges in the game and we are going to deal with them…” “I am confident we will have a good game in Cameroon.”

On Tuesday’s encounter the squad had a lot of changes, especially on the defence and front line where new faces were introduced in the squad. The Head Coach explained the reasons to why most of his squad members were new.

“It has come to a point where we have to give birth to a new generation, and so in the transition period I urge people to be patient and if you see mistakes we must first let them get used as the past experienced players did.”

“Those who we see are better today, they were offered a chance to grow earlier; they would not have started on top. You could witness how the match began and see how the boys kept gaining by time. If we trust them and give them time, the future team will be much better. ”

The Head Coach also gave his overall assessment as good and emphasized that his team played collaboratively from the beginning till the end of the game. They attacked and defended together so all the results were a result of the whole team’s efforts.

“The important thing is that we attack as a team, we defend as a team.”

“We are not attacking with one striker but as a whole. So we scored one goal as a team and conceded one goal as a team. ” He further asked the Tanzanians to continue praying for their national team as they head to battle in CHAN 2021 finals, “Pray for us to do well.”

Tanzania is packed in group D of the competition together with Namibia, Guinea and Zambia whereby the best two teams in each group will advance into the quarterfinals. Taifa Stars will take over Zambia on January 19th, Namibia on January 23rd and complete the group D stage games with Guinea on January 27th.

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Author: ELKANA KUHENGA

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