Meeting Everton: Yanga expects tough game against Kenya’s Tusker FC
Tanzania Mainland champions Young Africans are set to hit the ground running when they face Kenyan Premier League side, Tusker FC in the opening match of the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam tomorrow. Speaking about the match, Yanga Assistant Coach Juma Mwambusi predicted a tough encounter as Tusker is always a difficult side to face.
Mwambusi said they do not know the kind of football philosophy of their opponents thus making the match difficult and unpredictable.
However, he is optimistic his side will perform well. “We have not played against them (Tusker) recently and we do not know much about their current squad but definitely you should expect a tough opponent because Tusker has always been a good team,” he said.
Going into tomorrow’s game, the Jangwani street based side will miss the services of some of their key players -- Simon Msuva, Benno Kakolanya and Hassan Ramadhan Kessy, who are currently with the national team, Taifa Stars in Egypt.
Taifa Stars have pitched a week-long camp in Alexandria in readiness for the 2019 AFCON qualifiers match against Lesotho in Dar es Salaam on Saturday. Other players who will not feature for the team in their game against Tusker are Rwandese midfielder Haruna Niyonzima and Burundian striker Amis Tambwe, who are in their respective countries.
However, Mwambusi said their absence will not affect his side, saying they will utilise some of their youth players to fill the gaps. Tusker on the other hand, is optimistic of stunning the Mainland champions in their curtain raiser game of the event which will involve eight teams from Tanzania and Kenya.The teams from Tanzania are Yanga, Simba, Singinda United and Jang’ombe Boys whereas from Kenya are AFC Leopards, Tusker, Gor Mahia and Nakuru All Stars.
They will be battling for the 66m/- from SportPesa. Tusker FC Coach, George ‘Best’ Nsimbe is positive that his side is set to kick off their campaign with a bang against their host Yanga acknowledging his understanding of Tanzania football and some of their opponents players as the fact of making him confident of registering victory tomorrow. Nsimbe, a former Azam FC tactician said he knows the weakness of Tanzanian players and as well the mean of defeating Yanga as his side is aiming high in the event as they are targeting to clinch the title.
Tusker FC who as for Simba, Yanga and Singida United in Tanzania are under the sponsorship of SportPesa have won the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title 11 times.
Prior to Yanga versus Tusker match, the newly promoted side in the Mainland Premier League, Singida United will kick off their campaign in the opening game against another Kenyan side AFC Leopards at the same venue. Simba will kick off their campaign on Tuesday when they face Nakuru AllStars whereas on the same day, Jang’ombe Boys will play against Gor Mahia.
Winner of the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup will play a friendly match against the English Premier League side, Everton FC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on July 13th this year.
The match will kick off at 5pm (3pm BST). Everton’s pre-season match in Tanzania will celebrate the Club’s new main partnership with gaming giant SportPesa and will see the Toffees become the first Premier League side to play in the East African nation.
The proceeds from the Super Cup tournament and from Everton’s fixture with the winners will be donated to the Tanzania Football Federation’s football development fund, providing programmes for the development of Under-15 and Under-17 teams.
Everton CEO Robert Elstone and former Blues midfielder Leon Osman were in the country to find out more about SportPesa’s growing presence in the area ahead of the Club’s pre-season friendly in the East African country.
The CEO expressed readiness to play SportPesa Super Cup winner. Elstone said pre-season is usually a critical time for the club as they prepare the team for big season ahead. “Pre-season is a critically important time for us as Ronald Koeman and his staff prepare the players for a big season ahead.
Being the first Premier League team to come and play in Tanzania will be an exciting part of those preparations.
“We are breaking new ground and we have no doubt we’ll be making new friends and adding to our growing international fan base when we visit in July. I know Ronald Koeman and his players are really looking forward to a good match against one of East Africa’s best club teams,” the CEO said.