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Stars out to hit ground running

Stars out to hit ground running

TAIFA Stars take on Equatorial Guinea in their first group J clash of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, knowing exactly that claiming maximum points will do better for them.

Stars skipper Mbwana Samatta reiterated that their number one target is to win today’s match to create a perfect cushion to qualify into the AFCON finals.

After today’s match, the home team will proceed to Tunisia to face Libya in their second encounter in the same group, which is vital as far as reaching to Cameroon, where the finals will be staged, is concerned.

Briefing members of the media yesterday, Samatta said qualifying for the successive year will be an added advantage for Stars and that it will help them to get the much needed experience.

“We should all be one tomorrow (today) because the national team is for us all. I strongly believe that if we managed to quality for the same contest this year, we can do the same for 2021, but the most important thing is to begin the journey with the victory,” he said.

Adding, the captain said at the moment, the team should thrive to make regular appearance of playing in every AFCON finals a thing he said will greatly help the players to get used to the continent’s biggest football competition.

“At the moment, we will be wrong to suggest that we have a team capable to lift AFCON title since we do play against teams which have invested a lot to win the championship. We just need to make it a culture of playing in every AFCON finals and later start thinking of winning the trophy,” the KRC Genk player said.

He also encouraged his teammates to seek teams from outside the country where they can play professional football and be able to upgrade their performance.

“Playing outside the country helps a lot because you are exposed to new football tactics and you also embrace new challenges of which when combined together, one can reach far,” he said.

On his part, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) General Secretary Wilfred Kidao said as one way to motivate players, they have all been paid their money for today’s match and the next clash against Libya.

“TFF is very serious with the welfare of players that is why we ensure that the players have their dues paid before arriving at the battlefield,” said him.

He added that the federation has since received good feedback from the players themselves vowing to do a great job in all the matches coming ahead.

Also, one of the Stars passionate fan, Bongo Zozo, who travelled all the way from London to watch today’s clash bought 100 tickets he said should be given to women supporters only.

“I love women supporters because they simply inspire men on the ground to work hard and get the required results,” he said.

Earlier, Chairman of Taifa Stars Mobilisation Committee Haji Manara urged fans to flock at the 60,000 capacity venue to back up their team throughout the match.

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