Simba SC chairman, Ismail Aden Rage, has been delighted by the achievement of the club’s youth side in the BancABC tournament and promised that the youngsters will be rewarded handsomely.
The Msimbazi Street side’ U-20 squad, again, surprised critics when it edged Morogoro’s Mtibwa Sugar 4-3 in a closely contested final at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday to win the trophy and 40m/- set aside by the tournament’s sponsors, BancABC, for the champions.
A visibly delighted Rage, speaking shortly after the match, expressed pride in his club’s youth side success and said the youngsters, from now onwards, will be millionaires. “I have been pleased by the investment we have done in youth in our club, the fruits have now started to come out in the open.
These youngsters, from now on, will be millionaires”, he said. The Simba boss joined the rest of the club’s top leaders in showing close support to the youth squad in the final, in which he went to the team’s bench at half time to talk to the players in a bid to uplift their spirit.
And the Simba youngsters, who were level 1-1 with their opponents at half time, did not disappoint their leadership as they went on to claim a 3-3 draw after regular 90 minutes before prolific goal scorer, Edward Christopher, slammed home the winner in the extra time.
Christopher, who has been on top form throughout the tournament, banged in a hat-trick in the final to prove he now has enough experience that could guarantee him regular presence in Simba’s first choice squad. Mtibwa Sugar, fielding a host of experienced players, fought back gallantly during the regular 90 minutes, with all of the side’s three goals coming off dead balls.
The Morogoro side’s newly recruited veteran midfielder, Shaaban Kisiga, grabbed a brace through excellently dispatching penalty and free kick before substitute, Hassan Seif, registered his name on the score sheet deep in the second half with another well taken free kick to bring his team to level terms with the Simba youngsters.
Simba U-20 coach, Selemani Matola, once again, reiterated his call to the club to continue taking great care of the youth squad and give the youngsters opportunity to play in the senior side. “I would like to tell the club that it should have faith in this youth squad. Why should we take trouble to recruit other players? We already have talented young players in our squad”, he said.
“I’m pleased that the youngsters have shown great maturity in performance. They have played very well and have done what we have instructed them to do”, added Matola, who is also the former Simba mercurial midfielder.
Matola also urged TFF to organize more youth tournaments with a view to giving plenty of opportunity for domestic young soccer players to showcase their talent, gain experience and turn into dependable performers for the country in future. “We do not have many youth tournaments right now.
TFF should organized more youth soccer leagues, which could offer a wider platform for youngsters to develop their talents, apart from giving top flight teams chance to identify players that will later be recruited by the teams”, he said.
By JAPHETH KAZENGA, Tanzania Daily News