BY FORTUNE MBELE
A TOP official at Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has praised the new arrivals in that country’s top division among them Azam’s Prince Dude (pictured), who scored his first goal for the team in his second appearance in a friendly match on Thursday.
He said the calibre of foreign players roped in by the country’s top three clubs for the 2020-2021 season will inject a new lease of life into their local football.
TFF competitions director Salum Madadi is quoted in Tanzania’s The Guardian Sport saying market activity by champions Simba FC, runners-up Young Africans and Azam FC, point to a highly competitive and entertaining league, which starts early next month.
Among the foreign players that have landed in Tanzania is Warriors striker Dube, whose late goal on Thursday night got Azam a winner against KMC in his second friendly match ahead of the new season.
Dube, who joined Azam a couple of weeks ago, rose from the bench to get the solitary goal after a good combination with former FC Platinum and Zambian international Obrey Chirwa.
Madadi said previously foreign players in the league had failed to live up to expectations.
“I am sure the coming season will be more competitive. I have said so because we all have seen how our local clubs have been doing on the market. Nearly all the players who have been signed by our top three clubs — Azam FC, Simba FC and Yanga — are worth it. They are players with proven records of performance and some of them play in their respective countries’ national teams,” Madadi said.
He added: “This season will not be like the previous season in which many clubs signed players who had no significant impact on the teams. Last season, many local clubs were just signing every Jimmy and Jim. We had foreign players who were failing to catch up with the local players.”
Azam signed Dube, Cameroonian Allan Thierry, Ally Niyanzima from Rwanda and five locals, while Simba and Young Africans stretched their tentacles to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Zambia. Azam is also home to two other Zimbabweans Bruce Kangwa and Never Tigere.A few days after Dube arrived in Tanzania, he promised to score goals for Azam.
“I am very happy I just signed for Azam. I have come here to help the team to compete for trophies and also use every chance I get to score goals. I just want to do good things for the team. I want to score goals and make sure they do well, we are a big team and we must fight for titles. I am ready to take up the new challenge because Azam is a big team and as a team, we have to fight for it and be ready to give the fans what they want, to win the title and come to the end of the season, we should be leading, smiling all the way,” Dube said.
He joined Azam on a three-year contract from Highlanders and is eyeing a move to Europe and Vodacom Premier League might be a stepping stone for the 23-year-old striker, who according to sources, was already being targetted by big clubs in South Africa.