Djigui Diarra extends contract with Yanga until 2027

By Seth Mapoli , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jul 05 2024
Photo: Courtesy of Yanga
Young Africans shot-stopper Djigui Diarra.

YOUNG Africans’ first-choice goalkeeper Djigui Diarra has solidified his commitment to the club by signing a new contract extension, ensuring his presence between the posts for the next two seasons.

Diarra, who initially joined Young Africans in August 2021 from Stade Malien, has extended his tenure with the Premier League champions, securing his stay until 2027. 

The club’s previous agreement with Diarra was set to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season, but this new two-year extension will now see him remain a crucial part of the team for an additional two years.

The Malian international shot-stopper’s performance since joining Young Africans has been nothing short of exceptional. His abilities have earned him the Premier League Best Goalkeeper Award (Golden Gloves) for two consecutive seasons, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. 

Furthermore, his remarkable skills in the 2023-2024 season garnered him the Best African Player Award for Mali, distinguishing him as the top performer among Malian players competing in Africa.

In the most recent season, Diarra’s prowess was instrumental in Young Africans’ success. He secured 14 clean sheets, leading the Jangwani Street-based side to finish as the team with the fewest goals conceded in the 2023-2024 Premier League season, which culminated in a championship victory for the club. 

His defensive fortitude has not only bolstered Young Africans’ league performances but also contributed to their impressive runs in continental competitions.

Diarra’s impact at Young Africans extends beyond domestic leagues. During the 2022-2023 season, he played a pivotal role in guiding his side to the final of the CAF Confederation Cup. The following season, his efforts were crucial in Young Africans reaching the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League, showcasing his ability to perform at the highest levels of African football.

Having been with Young Africans for three seasons, Diarra has been a cornerstone of the team’s success. His contributions have helped his side clinch consecutive Premier League championships and the Federation Cup. His commitment to excellence and consistency in the goal have made him an indispensable asset to the team.

The extension of Diarra’s contract is a strategic move by Young Africans’ management, aiming to maintain the stability and strength of their squad. The club’s officials have expressed their confidence in Diarra’s abilities and his vital role in the team’s future successes.

“Diarra is not just a goalkeeper; he is a leader on and off the pitch. His experience, dedication, and exceptional skills are invaluable to our club. We are thrilled to have him with us for the upcoming seasons," said the team’s spokesperson Ali Kamwe.

As Young Africans prepare for the next phase of their journey, both domestically and internationally, Diarra’s presence will be crucial in fortifying their defense and inspiring confidence throughout the squad. The club’s ambitions remain high, and with Diarra at the helm of their defense, they are well-positioned to achieve their goals.