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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Mainland team fly to Entebbe

22nd November 2012
Taifa Stars

Mainland soccer team is expected to board a Dar es Salaam Entebbe flight tomorrow in readiness for the Senior Challenge Cup tournament that kicks off in Kampala on Saturday.

The team, which camped in Mwanza for almost ten days, would first board a flight to Dar es Salaam from Mwanza before connecting another flight to Entebbe.

Lack of direct flights from Mwanza to Entebbe has necessitated the team to make a U-turn to their base in Dar es Salaam, according to impeccable sources within the Tanzania Football Federation.

The Mwanza-Dar es Salaam-Entebbe flight would take about three hours and additional time will be spent in reconnection for the final flight to Entebbe.

The team enjoyed a good training stint in Mwanza where they (Taifa Stars) also played a friendly international against visiting Kenya at the CCM Kirumba Stadium on November 14.

The team, which featured in the international match to post a narrow but vital one goal victory, included some Zanzibar players.

The Zanzibar players joined their counterparts who are also heading to Kampala for the Senior Challenge Cup.

Coached by Dane Kim Poulsen, the Mainland team is grouped with Somalia, Burundi and Sudan in the twelve-team championship that kicks off on Saturday.

The Mwanza camp was proposed by the team’s technical department before getting the blessing of the football federation.

Mwanza, which is ‘stone’s throw’ in terms of flight to Entebbe, is believed to have weather reminiscent of Kampala where the tournament will be staged.

The Senior Challenge Cup gets underway on Saturday with hosts and twelve times winners yet title holders Uganda hosting neighbours Kenya in crunch opener.

This year’s tournament will be the first for the Danish coach Poulsen whose predecessor Jan killed the 16-year hoodoo by winning it in 2010.

Mainland failed to defend the title last year when Charles Boniface was in charge of the team that flopped terribly at the semifinal stage losing by 3-1 goals to eventual winners, Uganda.

Home fans are on standby to follow how the Danish coach would deploy his heroics to bring the title back to Dar es Salaam out of Ugandan spoil for the first time in history.

The last time Mainland team reached the final in Kampala was during the revival year of the tourney in 1973 when they lost by 2-1 goals.

The Senior Challenge Cup was revived in that year after several years in dormancy to replace the old version known as Gossage Cup.

Three wins are in the history of the championship for Mainland that won the first title at home in 1974 and twenty years later in Nairobi.

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