Can Nkane live up to expectations at Yanga?  

13Jan 2022
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Can Nkane live up to expectations at Yanga?  

I loved how Yanga's newly signed starlet, Dennis Nkane, was described by domestic print media once he was unveiled as the club's player.

Yanga's newly signed winger, Denis Nkane. PHOTO: COURTESY OF YANGA

I read a Kiswahili newspaper that identified the winger as a wonderkid. I read elsewhere and he was again identified as a wonderkid.

In English, wonderkid is a word used for a young star who seems to be unique.

Wonderkids are often young players who are tipped to excel in the future. I do not know if that will happen to Nkane.

Young Tanzanian footballers who join prominent outfits in the country are having a difficult time getting a place in the first team.

Life becomes more difficult for them as the days go by. Senior players in the same outfits are already having a difficult time. What about the youngsters?

At the end of last year, for example, two popular clubs, Simba SC and Yanga, won their respective NBC Premier League matches.

Yanga thrashed Dodoma Jiji FC 4-0, Simba SC beat Azam FC 2-1. Yanga's goals were scored by two Congolese footballers, a Ugandan player, and a Tanzanian player.

Simba SC's goals were scored by footballers from Senegal and Mali. Azam FC's goal was scored by a footballer in Zambia. This is the three outfits' life.

The foreign professionals are enjoying life in these clubs so much that local footballers that play for the clubs are failing to step up.

What can one say about a youngster like Nkane? He needs the luck to make his way into Yanga's starting lineup.

In the past, winger Mrisho Ngassa was tipped to scale great heights when he was a young player.

He put impressive showing for Yanga when he joined the side from Kagera Sugar.

The same could be said of Simon Msuva, he was as well tipped to scale great heights when he joined Yanga from Moro United. He indeed lived up to expectations.

What about Nkane? Will he follow this trend? He is well spoken of by those who know him.

I have watched his videos, he seems to be brilliant on the pitch.

The problem is that in recent years local youngsters are failing to play in popular outfits. And the ones that struggle the most are offensive footballers.

We have seen many defenders settle well but life has become difficult for players that play in midfield and attack.

Yanga has this time signed Nkane, the club should remember that its winger, Dickson Ambundo, has not played for it in any league match. Soccer fanatics only see him attend training.

Ambundo was the first-team footballer when he played for Dodoma Jiji FC.

It seems Yanga had made no mistake in picking him up, today, however, soccer fanatics do not see him play for his club in league games.

Simba SC roped in a defensive midfielder, Abdulswamad Kassim, from Kagera Sugar during the mini transfer period.

The footballer looked like he would be a midfielder who would perform well at his new outfit but all was not well for the player given Simba SC has recently let him go.

Forward Yusuph Mhilu is struggling at Simba SC. Soccer followers do not see him play regularly.

Another local striker, Waziri Junior, was at Yanga and he decided to terminate his contract with the outfit.

These are the players that local football fanatics expected will excel in popular outfits the same way Ngassa did.

Other forwards, Adam Salamba and Ditram Nchimbi, were as well tipped to excel at the popular sides but they could not live up to expectations.

It was not possible for them to make their presence felt and the foreign players continued to perform well.

As a result, John Bocco is, to this day, the only reliable local forward, the towering attacker, however, has begun to falter.

If the senior national team is announced, soccer followers will expect foreign-based attackers, Mbwana Samatta and Simon Msuva, to be the players the squad will bank on when it comes to getting good results.

But in a nation without many foreign-based players, soccer followers expect popular clubs' players to help the national team get good results.

I do not doubt Yanga's Dickson Job's competence in the defensive department, the youthful footballer is proving people wrong and has already made his presence felt in his outfit.

Fullback, Israel Mwenda, left Kinondoni Municipal Council FC for Simba SC and is slowly appearing to be Shomari Kapombe's rightful successor.

Mwenda can take over the position at Simba SC and possibly in the senior national team.

Yanga has recruited left fullback, David Bryson, from Kinondoni Municipal Council FC. He was playing alongside Mwenda at the Kinondoni outfit.

Despite suffering injuries while joining Yanga, now Bryson appears to be stable and is slowly taking over on the left side of his new outfit's defense.

The biggest problem remains for local footballers who play in the offensive area.

I do not know if Nkane will either achieve success or not but it will be good for the nation if he will perform well.

Soccer fanatics need footballers who can competently challenge foreign professionals the same way Simba SC midfielder, Jonas Mkude, does.

One cannot blame Nkane for joining Yanga even though he will hardly be assured of regularly turning out for the side, he has certainly been lured by money.

There is a huge gap between cash offered by modest outfits and prominent clubs' cash.

Biashara United, Nkane's former side, could be a good place for the winger to continue to mature but if Yanga had tabled a lucrative salary of 2m/- for the player, he would certainly have opted to move to the latter.

Sometimes soccer followers can blame these players but they do not know what the footballers are going through at the negotiation tables.

Modest clubs are also ready for offers for their players, many local outfits are facing a difficult situation.

If a popular outfit offers about 30m/- to sign Nkane, his outfit will certainly not refuse the offer. Modest clubs know their lives.