Young Africans first choice goalkeeper Ghanaian Yaw Berko, who has been nursing injury, has started light training with his team mates ahead of the premiership matches.
The Ghanaian, who set up a premiership clean sheet record in excess of nine hours during the previous season, sustained injury during Mapinduzi Cup tourney staged in Zanzibar and was confined to a sick bay throughout.
He was between the posts when Yanga suffered a 3-1 goal defeat to eventual winners Azam FC at the Amaan Stadium.
Berko was seen training with other players at the team’s base in Dar es Salaam and is most likely to be included in the first line-up against Coastal Union on March 31 at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga.
During Berko’s absence Yanga Serbian coach Konstadin Papic has been frequently calling Shaaban Kado and of late Said Mohamed in the premiership matches.
Berko, who suffered a knee injury, is believed to have recovered in time to provide services to his team when title retention bid is top priority after elimination from the CAF Champions League last month.
Yanga’s information officer Louis Sendeu said Berko made a full time attendance during yesterday’s training session at the Kaunda Stadium in the city.
Sendeu said the return of Berko has brought a huge relief for the Mainland holders who are four points adrift of pacemakers Simba who also happens to be their closest archrivals.
The Yanga spokesman also said all prayers now are directed to midfielder Salum Telela who has also been in the sick bay for too long.
"We are pleased to have Berko on board to steady our title retention bid as we pray for Telela to attain fitness in time before the league winds up,” said Sendeu.
Sendeu said Yanga has embarked on intensive training while gearing up for the six matches remaining in the fixture with title retention as a top priority.
Sendeu admitted that Yanga are passing through a torrid moment in their quest to retain the title. Yanga had five of their players suspended by the Tanzania Football Federation following violence during their match against Azam FC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam a fortnight ago.
Sendeu admitted the team’s hard time as five of the players in the starting line-up are missing at the expense of suspensions.
He said this is the time for other players in the squad to exhibit their potentialities as all have been registered to serve the club, particularly at this time of crisis.
The Yanga official rued on early exit from the CAF Champions League that would keep players idle at the end of the Mainland premiership in early May.
Yanga’s suspended players include Jerry Tegete, Stephano Mwasika, Omega Seme, Nurdin Bakari and Nadir Haroub.