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Le Roy arrives in Dar es Salaam ahead of Stars match

Le Roy jetted in on Saturday afternoon from Paris, France accompanied by his right hand man, while the rest of the Leopards team are expected to land in the city  on Tuesday ready for the build-up game at the National Stadium. According to a statement issued by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), the Leopards’ delegation would comprise of 24 people, including 19 players and they will be accommodated at Holiday Inn hotel.  

Le Roy managed the Leopards between 2004 and 2006, before his return in September last year following the resignation of his compatriot Robert Nouzaret. The 63-year-old tactician who is in a three-year contract to coach the DR Congo, gained prominence at international level as coach to the Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana national teams. His achievements in leading the Cameroon national team to be runners-up in the 1986 African Cup of Nations, and then champions in the 1988 competition, are often cited as his greatest managerial accomplishments. He then took charge of Senegal.

For Taifa Stars, the friendly will serve as a warm up for their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique on February 29. Le Roy would also use the fixture to gauge his Leopards ahead of their relatively easy qualifier against Mauritius. Meanwhile, Taifa Stars players are expected to move into camp today in Dar es Salaam in preparation for the coming friendly against DR Congo and the 2013 AFCON qualifier with Mozambique. Poulsen last Thursday named a blend of new blood and old guards in his 23-man squad for the two games. He has included three news faces, including highly rated young midfielders Jonas Gerald from Simba and Salum Abubakar of Azam FC, and striker Ally Badru Ally who features for Egyptian side, Canal Suez.

There are returns to the fold for a number of players, including defenders Shadrack Nsajigwa, Stephano Mwasika, Kelvin Yondan and strikers Nsa Job, John Bocco and Uhuru Selemani. Poulsen eulogized his ‘new boys on the bloc’, Gerald and Salum, crediting the two youngsters ‘the future of Tanzanian football’. Gerald is the product of Simba youth team and has recently established himself as regular starter for his club with some impressive performances that has won him great compliments from soccer fans. Salum, son of former Young African wing wizard Abubakar Salum ‘Sure Boy’, is one of highly talented upcoming midfielders in the country and a key member of the national U-20 and U-23 youth teams.

Ally, meanwhile, came to the limelight when he featured for Zanzibar Heroes for the first time during last December’s Senior Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam. The Danish tactician said Bocco and Job were also called up after showing good performances and commitment for their respective clubs, Azam and Villa Squad, in recent weeks.  

First-choice goalkeeper Juma Kaseja has retained his place but will have to fight for the starting berth with Shabaan Kado and Mwadini Ally who have recently been enjoying enough playing time at Yanga and Azam FC respectively.

The defence comprises of returning Young African duo of Nsajigwa and Mwasika as well as Simba’s Juma Jabu and Nassor Masoud ‘Cholo’ as fullbacks, while Juma Nyoso (Simba), Aggrey Morris and Kelvin Yondan are central defenders. Midfielders are Gerard (Simba), Shabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar), Shomari Kapombe (Simba), Salum Abubakar (Azam FC), Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba) and Abdi Kassim (Azam). Strikers are Hussein Javu (Mtibwa Sugar), John Bocco (Azam), Khalfan (Philadelphia Union, USA), Mrisho Ngasa (Azam), Ally (Canal Suez, Egypt), Uhuru Selemani (Simba) and Job (Villa Squad). 

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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