Coach Poulsen now gets the best out of fringe players at Taifa Stars  

18Sep 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Coach Poulsen now gets the best out of fringe players at Taifa Stars  

​​​​​​​IN the past it was common for soccer enthusiasts to see leaders of Tanzania's two biggest football clubs, Simba SC and Yanga, seek to rope in football players that have been selected for the senior national football squad, Taifa Stars.

Senior national soccer team 'Taifa Stars' players participate in training in Dar es Salaam recently to shape up for continental assignments.

The battle was over the registration of Taifa Stars players that the squad's coaches have assessed in various places during the league or other tournaments such as the Taifa Cup.

Often the battle did not wait for a senior national team player to shine in the first match, but a call-up was enough to convince the officials that he is a good player.

Then soccer supporters do not hesitate to hear that either Yanga or Simba sponsor has gone to Taifa Stars camp and later have a conversation with a certain player and the next day people will hear that the particular player has been recruited by one of those outfits.

And if the war is more intense, soccer supporters will hear that the player has signed for both clubs and thereafter face a ban.

There are many examples of such players who shook the headlines of many newspapers during their registration.

This was due to the transfer being done by people, who were unfamiliar with football, but had great confidence in the professionalism of the coaches who were hired to coach the national team players.

Football had to go through those steps as it was the process of change.

We had to move from one stage to another, and we cannot blame the leaders during that time for such activities.

But some of the things that are going on tend to bring questions, have we moved on or we are still stuck there but in a different aspect?

This season's transfer for the two clubs has been noisy as social media and officials wanted to convince soccer followers that they have done better than their opponents.

And all players spoken of in that boast are foreign footballers-Fiston Mayele, Peter Banda, Djuma Shabani, Pape Sakho, and many others of the same type.

That is, no native player is known to be the best in registration. Those are just extra, maybe those who have established themselves like Mohamed Hussein, Feisal Salum, Aishi Manula, Erasto Nyoni, Bakari Mwamnyeto, Dickson Job, and others.

It is as if no good native players can be proudly registered as a lot is said when foreign players are roped in, although many surprised us until we remembered our youngsters.

But the national team's head coach, Kim Poulsen, has shown soccer lovers that there are a lot of youngsters who can be signed for as long as the two big clubs had a reliable track system.

If all football fans in the country were told to organize the national team's starting side that confronted Madagascar in African Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, players like Reliant Lusajo, Novatus Dismas, and Nickson Kibabage would not be there.

It is further possible that the football fanatics would not even put those names on the national team's bench.

But Poulsen trusted those footballers, introducing Dismas and Lusajo into a squad that started against Madagascar, a team that did well in the previous African Nations Cup finals in Egypt.

And yet on the national squad's bench, Kim Poulsen had Kibabage and Israel Mwenda, who after the Danish coach selected for his side then the big clubs opted t run for the footballers' signatures.

Our players might not be well developed, that is, they start to meet a well-educated coach when they are older, but one needs to be observant to identify some very good players.

Knowing how to sign good players is not rushing out but first looking at local resources at a young age and starting to create a better environment for them to grow rather than spending millions of dollars to bring in players we are not sure of their level.

Finding good foreign players requires some luck as the ability to compete financially with a big club is limited.

Simba SC was lucky to have a winger, Luis Miquissone, because he was on loan in Mozambique but the conditions for finding a player of his type are difficult to repeat.

So clubs need to have a very strong eye in the country to get the best talent and at a young age and later give the homegrown players a chance to benefit from star standards like Miquissone and Clatous Chama.

The well-drilled domestic footballers will later be sold at a good price and help the national team get good results in major showpieces.

Top Stories