The team, as disclosed by Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) information officer, Alfred Lucas, left early yesterday morning aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight and the contingent is full of optimism on its chances to achieve good results and progress to the second round of the qualifiers.
Serengeti Boys walloped Seychelles 3-0 in the first leg at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Sunday and the Tanzanian squad will need a draw of any margin to assure itself of qualification for the second round.
Nickson Kibabage, Ibrahim Abdallah and Ali Hussein netted the three goals to put Serengeti Boys in pole position prior to playing the return leg.
Should Serengeti Boys knock Seychelles out of the first round of the qualifiers, they will meet South Africa’s U17 team in the second round.
Serengeti Boys’ coach, Bakari Shime, revealed he respects Seychelles but he is confident his team will not give the latter room to display their prowess.
Shime said Serengeti Boys came out with a resounding win over their oppoents in the first leg and the Tanzanian squad is keen on winning the return leg duel as well.
Players making Serengeti Boys for the return leg include goalkeepers Ramadhan Kabwili and Samwel Edward, defenders, Kibwana Shomari, Kibabage, Israel Mwenda, Dickson Job, Hussein and Issa Abdi.
Midfielders include Kelvin Nashon, Ally Ng’anzi, Asadi Juma, Cyprian Mtesigwa, Abdallah, Yassin Mohamed and Shaaban Zubeir, whereas strikers are Rashid Chambo, Mohammed Rashid, Yohana Mkomola, Muhsin Malima and Enrick Vitalis.
Serengeti Boys have been in intensive training from June 14 to prepare for the AFCON U17 qualifiers and the team has, as well, played a series of international friendly matches.
Serengeti Boys played one international friendly match against Burundi in Kigoma and the former then hosted Egypt’s U17 team in two matches at the National Stadium and Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam.
Serengeti Boys then headed to India to participate in the International Youth Cup organized by All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The tournament also involved U17 outfits from Malaysia, South Korea, USA and hosts India. AIFF organized the tournament to give India’s U17 team opportunity to prepare for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup that will be hosted by the same country.
The tournament ended with Serengeti Boys settling for the third position behind winners, USA, and runners-up, South Korea.