Kilimanjaro Stars head coach Kim Poulsen yesterday unveiled a squad of 23 players who will board a flight to Nairobi for this year’s edition of Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations’ (CECAFA) Challenge Cup tournament.
Kilimanjaro Stars, winners in 2010 when Jan Poulsen was at the helm, is lined up against Zambia, Somalia and Burundi in group B.
The Poulsen boys will open the championship against Zambia on the day two of the tourney at the Machakos Stadium, east of Nairobi.
Players making the team for the Challenge Cup mission are goalkeeping trio of Deogratius Munishi (Yanga), Ivo Mapunda (Gor Mahia, Kenya) and Aishi Manula (Azam).
Defenders are Erasto Nyoni, Himid Mao, Ismail Gambo and Said Moradi (Azam), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga) and Ruvu Shooting’s Michael Pius.
Midfielders include Amri Kiemba, Ramadhan Singano and Haruna Chanongo (Simba), Athuman Idd, Frank Domayo (Yanga), Hassan Dilunga (Ruvu Shooting) and Salum Abubakar (Azam).
Strikers have Elias Maguli (Ruvu Shooting), Faridi Musa, Joseph Kimwaga (Azam), Juma Liuzio (Mtibwa Sugar), Mbwana Samata (TP Mazembe, DRC), Mrisho Ngasa (Yanga) and Thomas Ulimwengu (TP Mazembe, DRC).
New faces in the team that makes a line-up of uncapped players are Manula, Mao, Gambo, Pius, Singano, Dilunga Maguli, Faridi Musa, Kimwaga and Liuzio.
Conspicuous omission in the team is Qatar-based Mwinyi Kazimoto who sparkled during the Zimbabwe friendly last Tuesday.
The team is a blend of young and old generation of players who will be tested to the limits in their opening match against the tournament’s highest FIFA ranked team, Zambia.
The team boards a flight to Nairobi on Monday and would include five officials.
The regional tournament kicks off on Wednesday next week and would wind up on December 13.
The opening match of the tourney will be between Zanzibar and South Sudan to be played at the Nyayo Stadium in central Nairobi on Wednesday afternoon. The same venue would host another group A match between hosts Kenya and Ethiopia later in the evening.
Kilimanjaro Stars have been training at their TFF base in Dar es Salaam ever since the Mainland premiership reached half way stage and temporarily halted till January. The only big trial for the team was during last Tuesday’s international friendly when Taifa Stars which was dominantly composed of Mainland players clashed against visiting Zimbabweans. The match ended in barren draw.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN