We need quality not quantity in foreign players
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MOROCCO’S Wydad Casablanca are the new CAF Champions League kingpins after beating Egyptian giants, Al Ahly by a single goal, hence bringing the aggregate to 2-1 following a draw in Egypt a fortnight ago.

Following the Egyptians’ defeat from Moroccans, it has denied them to win their ninth victory in the tournament. For Tanzanians, the good news about Wydad Casablanca’s victory is that the team plays in the same league with the team that former Young Africans winger, Simon Msuva plays for.

And this explains the fast development we see in the player who is no longer what he was. Msuva has changed for the better after being thrown in the deep end of the tunnel where all players and teams are professionals to the core.

On Monday this week, one of Taifa Stars handlers praised Msuva for reporting to the camp immediately after touching down from Morocco. Said the handler; “I’m absolutely amazed by the player’s discipline.

He did not malinger about…he reported straight to the camp.” But what the handler should have known is that if Msuva had not been disciplined, he would not get back early to the camp. And this is what our local players need not only to know, but more importantly, also to learn from Msuva, Thomas Ulimwengu and Mbwana Samatta.

Wydad Casablanca’s victory is the second in the same tournament and they have lifted the coved trophy after 25 years, meaning that the last time they won the trophy was in 1992. For those who like to deal with history, it is in the same year that Barcelona FC won their first UEFA Champions League after their then central defender, Ronald Koeman scored from 40 metres.

And you can guess who was playing in front of Koeman as holding midfielder, it was none other than the present Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola. Although the Egyptians failed this time around to clock their ninth cup victory, however, they present African soccer clubs, and those from Tanzania in particular, with one major lesson.

And that’s, if you pursue scientific way of preparing your players instead of chasing talents locally and internationally, you will always be rewarded. In fact, that also explains why clubs like the current CAF Champions league holders, Wydad Casablanca have won the trophy for the second time.

Both clubs have always reached either semis or final, and that explains why they have been able to win the continental club tourney ten times between them. A club cannot reach semis or finals if it is not well drilled.

But Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly have been able to dominate continental clubs tournaments because they have some of the best soccer academy infrastructure in the world. What that means is that because their soccer academies range in different age from 10 to 14 bracket to U-17 and U-20, both have been able to supply their senior teams with endless, well drilled players.

And when they decide to go for foreign players, especially in Africa, they usually go for the best in the pack and that is where the difference lies between the two teams and our local soccer clubs.

Therefore if we want to compete against the likes of Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly, then we need to emulate the two clubs by getting into well, established and scientifically run soccer academies.

Instead of being heavily dependent on former internationals from other parts of the continent, we need to reverse the roles by building our clubs around local players but who have gone through well established and run soccer academies with the foreign component being filled in by players they really don’t have, players who have remained in Africa by accident.

In fact, it is better for our clubs to have less foreign players, even three for instance, and spent a fortune on them instead of being crowded by many former internationals who were dropped by their respective countries’ national soccer teams almost four years ago!

The less, but more quality foreign players we have, the more likely such players would rub off on our local players, hence help in improving of our game. Foreign players do not only help a local team, but also enhancing the performance of our local players in the game.

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