Heroes welcome for Under-17 team Serengeti
By Nelly Mtema, Daily News
Wed, Jan 26, 2005
Cheers and ululation yesterday greeted the arrival of Serengeti Boys in Dar es Salaam from Zimbabwe where they beat the Young Warriors 1-0 to qualify for the Africa Youth Championship finals to be held in Gambia in May, this year.
The Minister for Labour, Youth Development and Sports, Juma Kapuya, led the cheering crowd of soccer fans and players’ relatives and friends who turned up at the Dar es Salaam International Airport to accord the “Boys” a warm welcome after their heroic exploits in Bulawayo last Sunday.
“Well done, all Tanzanians are proud of what you have done,” remarked Kapuya as he hugged Serengeti Boys’ team captain Hassan Bwaza.
Kapuya maintained the government’s commitment to support the team and ensure it performs even better in the continental finals which will bring together eight best teams from across the continent.
He said the government would make sure the team travels abroad for further training to shape up for the forthcoming gruelling tournament.
The team’s head coach, Abdallah Kibadeni, said he would soon prepare his training programme for the remaining part of the campaign.
Kibadeni said he expects to reinforce his team by introducing at least two new players, a midfielder and a striker before the Gambia finals.
“My team generally plays well ... in fact it has been getting better with time, but I believe it is important to strengthen the squad with some new faces,” he observed.
Bwaza said team work and determination were behind his team’s success in the competition so far, noting that sky could be the only limit now.
“We feel strong and competent enough to face any team,” boasted Bwaza.
Other officials, who showed up to receive the team, were the Registrar of Clubs and Sports Associations, Leonard Thadeo, the Director of Sports in the Ministry for Labour and Youth Development and Sports, Henry Ramadhan, and the President of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Leodegar Tenga.