THE Premier League is solely for the well drilled teams and a few others that have passed the First Division League (FDL) test with flying colours.
The journey is always very difficult to get the best of FDL exams as any team in this category really breathes fire to earn a promotion to the top flight league whose overall winner is awarded a ticket to play in the continent’s biggest club’s level tournament, CAF Champions League.
Undoubtedly, the quality of the elite league usually originates from FDL that is why in many European countries, a lot of investment is pumped in the lower divisions so as to have the best teams that qualify for the highly competitive senior level league.
Here, the scenario is quite different as a lot of attention is directed to the top flight league, hence leaving the breeding area suffering a lot due to minimal and poor investments, without taking into consideration that one of the teams will be able to represent the country in continental level tournament.
However, it is not a hidden fact that lately, the marathon towards the championship has become a three horse march benefiting the wealthy teams, all from the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. It is now a three-horse race after Azam FC lately joined and challenged the long reign of Simba and Young Africans.
These three teams have been sharing the top- three log of the league table for many seasons to the extent it has now become a habitual thing for them. But the dominance has been a reward of the serious investment which in return provided them quality players whose performances are measured on the pitch.
Simba, who have dominated the Premier League for the past three seasons in a row, seem to have found the real challengers this season with Azam looking a big threat to their dominion besides their usual challengers, Yanga.
Standing third in a race for league throne, Yanga have not yet been written off in the race as they, too have made several reinforcement in the squad. They have almost overhauled their last season squad to get a new and hard pushing squad.
Though it is too early judge this season’s title race, it seems from position four upwards, no team has been guaranteed one of the top five positions or beyond as this keep changing time after time unlike when it comes to the top three category.
A good example was seen in the 2018/19 campaign whereby then newly promoted side Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC) managed to land on position four at the end of the season and had an opportunity to play in CAF Confederation Cup as the country was given a chance to parade four teams.
For them, luck also counted as they arrived at the right place when Tanzania was awarded four tickets; two for the Champions League and two others for the Confederation Cup envoys. KMC had to fly high the country’s flag outside the boundaries which is rare but extremely something to be proud of for them.
Even though they failed to reach further in the contest, they made a history of being one of the teams which excelled to that level of the international level tournament at their debut.
Last season, it was a bit different as the lucky winner was the Azam Sports Federation Cup runners-up, Namungo FC of Lindi who flexed their muscles to reach into the federation cup’s final. Surely, this season, Tanzania will have another completely new envoy in the next chapter of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Following KMC’s early exit from the CAF Confederation Cup last year, their main excuse was that they do not have experience in playing in such big competitions. Yes, they were right about that but, the big question is when will they generate such experience if they fail to establish a culture of reaching there regularly?
Undoubtedly, even Namungo will have the same cry if they are eliminated at the early stages of the contest, and the same claim will probably be raised again and again by different clubs.
To make it worse, the Lindi based club has of late being struggling to get good results in the progressing league in comparison with last season, whereby they had a big muscle to win everywhere. They have already lost four games this season, despite making several signings during the past transfer window to amplify the team, especially for CAF Confederation Cup duels.
All in all, they still have ample time to create a competitive squad to do a recommendable job in the high profile matches or else, the usual tune of lack of experience will continue to be heard when they make early exit from the tournament.
Aside from seeking support from the country’s football fans, the team should also take deliberate measures to fix loopholes, which are already being seen in the domestic league to make them overcome the big tournament’s challenge.