SIMBA said they will continue to play friendly matches against local teams during their preseason camp in order to create a competitive team destined to achieve more in the upcoming season.
The defending champions are currently undergoing further drills in Arusha before their international-class squad test TP Mazembe on Sunday at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The match will be staged to wind up the annual ‘Simba Day’ festival which usually brings under one roof members and fans of the club to celebrate together and get to know players to represent them in the upcoming season.
Elaborating on the trend of their preparations yesterday was the club’s coordinator Abbas Ally who said the camp is now on top gear as all the players who briefly went to play in their national teams have rejoined the squad. “All 32 players are in camp grasping well the lessons imparted to them by Head Coach Didier Gomes who is being assisted by Thierry Hitimana and Seleman Matola.
“Our plan is to continue playing indoor matches because we want to see different levels being reached by the team and to correct some mistakes which surfaces during friendly matches,” he said. He added that despite Simba having a big fan base, they are not allowing fans to watch their friendly games in order to let players fully concentrate on what they are being taught.
On their targets in the next campaign, Ally disclosed that they want to go beyond the semifinals phase in the Champions League and retain all the domestic titles they won last season.
“We have a big load ahead of us which needs enough preparations that is why we are doing everything possible to keep the squad in good shape through playing indoor matches,” said him.
After facing TP Mazembe on Sunday, Simba will begin their title-defense campaign on September 25th when they will try to defend the Community Shield silverware in front of their traditional rivals Young Africans.
This will be a curtain raiser head-on game bringing together two heavyweight teams in the country fighting for the first honour of the campaign before thousands of their passionate fans.
Meanwhile, the body of the club’s former member of Board of Directors Zacharia Hans Poppe who passed away on Friday last week is set to be laid to rest today at his home village Kihesa Mkimbizi in Iringa.
The fallen hero passed away at Aga Khan hospital in the city where he was hospitalized and many sports stakeholders have expressed their condolences for the great loss of a man who did everything to uplift football standards in the country.