Stars pitch camp for AFCON opener

Stars pitch camp for AFCON opener

ALL is ready as Taifa Stars players pitch the camp today to officially begin drills for their away match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Niger on June 4th this year. 

The country's envoys are packed in group F of the qualifiers together with Niger, Algeria and Uganda hence they need to collect maximum points in order to stand a good chance of qualifying for the finals in Ivory Coast.

According to the available fixture, after facing Niger, Stars will host Algeria on June 8th at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam meaning that they will have just four days in between to prepare for "The Desert Warriors".

Then between September 19th to 27th, Stars will travel to play neighbours Uganda in Kampala in a sparkling match as whenever the two sides meet, a high intensity encounter is always witnessed.

The reverse leg will be staged in Dar es Salaam also between September 19th to 27th before hosting Niger at the same venue between March 20th to 28th next year.

The flag bearers will then make a long trip to interface Algeria also between March 20th to 28th which will be their final match of the qualifiers.

A reshaped squad of 28-players was unveiled recently by the Taifa Stars Assistant Coach Shadrack Nsajigwa who insisted that the paraded team has potential to do well in the qualifiers and make the country proud.

However, six players were axed from the latest squad but were injected in the past contingent called for two friendly matches who are Jonas Mkude (Simba), Zawadi Mauya (Yanga), Tepsi Evans (Azam), Abdulrazack Hamza (Namungo) and Lusajo Mwaikenda (Azam).

The full list of players with their clubs in brackets are Aishi Manula (Simba), Metacha Mnata (Polisi Tanzania), Abutwalib Mshery (Yanga), Shomari Kapombe (Simba), Kibwana Shomari (Yanga), Haji Mnoga (Weymouth-England) and Dickson Job (Yanga).

Others are Bakari Mwamnyeto (Yanga), Kennedy Juma (Simba), Abdallah Salum (Azam), Mohamed Hussein (Simba), Nickson Kibabage (KMC), Himid Mao (Ghazl El Mahalla SC-Egypt), Novatus Dismas (Beltar Tell Aviv Bat Yam-Israel and Mzamiru Yassin (Simba).

Also, the list contains Aziz Andabwile (Mbeya City), Simon Msuva (Wydad-Morocco), Kelvin John (Genk-Belgium), Feisal Salum (Yanga), Ben Starkie (Spalding-England), Mbwana Samatta (Antwerp-Belgium) and Farid Mussa (Yanga).

The list also has Abdul Selemani (Coastal Union), Reliant Lusajo (Namungo), Kibu Denis (Simba), George Mpole (Geita Gold), Ibrahim Joshua (Tusker-Kenya) and Salum Abubakar (Yanga).

Queried to comment about the circumstances which made them to include Msuva despite him not having a club at the moment, Nsajigwa replied that they have urged him to find a club as soon as possible.

"We talked and informed him that he must get a club or else this could be his last call up in the national team but we all know that Msuva is a potential player and we need him in the team," he said.

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