Taifa Stars start training

TAIFA Stars start training today to shape up for their 2010 World Cup/Africa Nations Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde at the New Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

Stars received a major morale boost from the National Microfinance Bank (NMB), who contributed sports kits worth 5.5m/- to facilitate the team’s smooth preparations for the match.

Handing over the donation, NMB Senior Marketing and Communication Manager Iman Kajura said the package was meant to reward and boost the players’ morale ahead of their crucial match.

The gear included three pairs of jerseys both for home and away matches, footballs and boots. They were handed over to the team captain, Henry Joseph, who thanked NMB for their support.

Players were expected to assemble yesterday evening ready for the training session that would begin this morning at the Karume Stadium.

Coach Marcio Maximo has called in the squad 27 players including four uncapped players. They include Simba custodian Deogratias Mushi. Others are young striker Moses Godwin, Ahmed Mohammed and Himid Mau from the national U-17 team.

Other players in the squad are Ivo Mapunda, Faroukh Ramaddhan, Shaban Dihile, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Amir Maftah, Nurdin Bakari, Juma Jabu, Kelvin Yondan, Meshack Abel, Nadir Haroub and Salum Swedi.

The list also has Henry Joseph, Jabir Aziz, Athuman Idd, Godfrey Bonifaace, Shaaban Nditi, Nizar Khalfan, Kigi Makasi, Uhuru Selemani, Musa Hassan ‘Mgosi’, Jerry Tegete and Mrisho Ngassa.

Taifa Stars are already out of contention for the World Cup/Nations Cup finals in South Africa and Angola respectively.

Maximo side would use the Saturday’s encounter as a warm up for their African Nations Championship (CHAN) match against Sudan in November. In their first leg match Stars lost 1-0 to Cape Verde away in Praia. Stars demolished Mauritius 4-1 in their last qualifier match last month.

Meanwhile, Taifa Stars players Nizar Khalfan and Ivo Mapunda have passed their trials in China and Ethiopia respectively.

Moro United player Khalfan went to try his luck in Chengdu Blades of China while Yanga player Mapunda was with St George of Ethiopia.

The Secretary General of Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Fredrick Mwakalebela, yesterday said both players had passed their trials and medication and were only waiting to sign contracts.

Chengdu Blades lies 10th in the Chinese Premier League with 22 points after playing 20 games. The league comprises 16 teams with Shandong Luneng on top with 45 points.

Meanwhile, Yanga were shocked with Mapunda’s news saying they did not know anything about the goalie after he absconded from the camp.

Yanga’s Secretary General Lucas Kisasa stressed that Mapunda will never play for St George unless the two clubs reached an agreement; because he said Mapunda was still their legitimate player.

“We’ll only release him if transfer procedures were properly followed,” he said

Mapunda became Yanga’s second choice goalie after the defending champions signed Simba’s Juma Kaseja in a record breaking deal of more than 30m/-.

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