Young Africans Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet has offloaded the team’s lynchpin defender Shadrack Nsajigwa and Nurdin Bakari from the 20-player line-up that would feature in the Kagame Cup championship that kicks off tomorrow.
The Belgian trainer, who arrived in the country last week, said his choice of players has been based on performance and not historical background or trademark soccer.
The coach has been highly impressed by performance of defender Godfrey Taita and Juma Abdul who sparkled during recent build up friendlies ahead of the Kagame Cup.
Yanga open title retention bid as they take on Burundi champions Atletico Olympique at the National Stadium tomorrow. It was Nsajigwa who inspired Yanga in their fourth Kagame Cup title last year in Dar es Salaam.
The Belgian tactician vows to take his squad all the way to the title podium as Yanga gunners to repeat history.
“We have emerging players who want to be part of the team and can handle the pressure of the tournament,” he said.
Young players who are on duty with the Ngorongoro Heroes in the likes of Frank Domayo, Omega Seme and Simon Msuva have been left so as to serve for the national youth team.
Otherwise, the coach has been satisfied with them and would have joined the Kagame Cup pool.
Yanga squad for the tournament include goalkeeping duo of Yaw Berko and Ali Mustapha, Nadir Haroub, Juma Abdul, Godfrey Taita, Ladislaus Mbogo, Oscar Joshua, David Luhende and new signing from Simba Kevin Yondani.
Midfielders are Stephano Mwasika, Athumani Iddi, Rashid Gumbo, Juma Seif, Haruna Niyonzima, Nizar Khalfan, Idrisa Rashid, Hamis Kiiza and Said Bahanuz. Strikers are Jerry Tegete and Shamte Ally.
The coach also left out midfielder Nurdin Bakari who has been struggling to win fitness for the past two months.
Bakari has been off form as a result of poor health and would not recover fully by the time the new coach arrived to join the club.
Yanga will feature in the Kagame Cup in the backdrop of the club’s general election set for Sunday.