Mbeya City line up pre-season friendlies

25Jul 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Mbeya City line up pre-season friendlies

MBEYA City FC has said its newly recruited players will have their first opportunity to prove their worth during the teams’ friendly matches slated to take place later this month.

The team’s information officer Dismas Ten, stopped short of offering his assessment on the new players’ commitment in the team’s ongoing training camp, saying it is too early to comment on the matter.

“The club has registered the new players as per the technical bench’s directives and, therefore, the move substantiate the technical bench’ belief it has on the players,” Ten said.

City recently recruited defender Rajab Zahir from Mainland premier league champions Yanga, and striker Said Mkopi from their closest archrivals Tanzania Prisons.

Zahir, a towering, no nonsense centre back, has been on loan at another Mainland premier league side, Shinyanga’s Stand United, prior to signing for City.

Mkopi had a terrific season for Tanzania Prisons in the previous Mainland premier league, in which he partnered well with Jeremiah Juma to terrorise opposing teams’ defenses.

The skilful and speedy striker will, therefore, be under pressure to maintain his impressive displays with City.
City dropped seven players after the latter’s contracts with the outfit ended at the end of the previous season.

The players include Ugandan goalkeeper, Hannington Kalyesubula, defenders Yusuf Sisalo, Deogratius Julius, Hamad Kibopile, Richard Peter and Yohana Morris, and striker Themi Felix.

Ten said 25 players are in the team’s training camp at Matema Beach in Kyela under head coach, Malawian Kinnah Phiri.
The team comprise six players from the second string outfit, several newly registered ones as well as the ones that featured for the team in the previous league season.

Phiri, as disclosed by Ten, has been given green light by the team’s administration to reach decision on several other players that are to be recruited by the team.

City have been training at Sokoine Stadium for five days prior to shifting the training camp to Matema Beach on July 18.
Ten said there are no injury woes in the squad, as per information from the team doctor and all players are giving their all in the training camp with a view of ensuring the team performs well in the league.

The Mbeya City official also disclosed that the team has yet to get directives from Malawi Football Association (FAM) on international friendly matches the latter has organised for the former.

City was expected to tour Malawi for a series of the international friendlies in June but the tour was then put on hold on the request of FAM, with a view to giving room for Malawi national soccer team to take part in international assignments.

City is also expected to play two friendly matches against Mainland premier league outfits, Mtibwa Sugar of Morogoro and Coast Region’s Ruvu Shooting.

Ten said City will leave for Morogoro on Thursday to face Mtibwa Sugar in the first pre-season friendly match at the Jamhuri Stadium two days later.

City will then head to Coast Region to play Ruvu Shooting at the Mabatini ground on August 1.
The Southern Highlands side will be away to Kagera Sugar in the former’s opening match of the Mainland premier league on August 20.

City will then travel to Mwanza to play Toto Africans at the CCM Kirumba Stadium on August 28.

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