New Azam players need time to adapt, says Youssouph Dabo

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jul 11 2024
Azam coach Youssouph Dabo
Photo: Courtesy of Azam FC
Azam coach Youssouph Dabo

AZAM coach Youssouph Dabo has tempered expectations, saying the club's new signings still need time to settle in.

As they look to build a team ready to challenge for the league title next season, Azam moved early in the transfer market and signed six players. 

The new arrivals are the Ivorian duo of attacking midfielder Franck Tiesse and defender Yoro Mamadou Diaby, Colombian midfielder Ever Meza from Leones, and another Colombian striker Jhonier Blanco. 

Striker Adam Omar Adam from Mashujaa and midfielder Nassor Saadun from Geita Gold are the new local additions to the squad. 

Speaking just before the team’s trip to Zanzibar, the Senegalese tactician says it will take time before the six signings fully adapt to the playing style of Azam. 

“It is early to say this. They need time to adapt to our philosophy and game plan. I have seen them and I know they have good qualities and I think they can add more to the team but they need time.

“It is normal because they left their countries to come here to a new team, new teammates and new environment so they need time to adapt. I hope they can adapt fast,” he said. 

Azam have parted ways with four players as they seek to take a new direction in the upcoming 2024/25 season. 

The four players, namely defender Malickou Ndoye, midfielder Issah Ndala, defender Edward Manyama and winger Ayoub Lyanga, have been released following the expiration of their contracts. 

The fifth exit is Ivorian winger Kipre Zunon who completed an 800m/- move to MC Alger after spending two seasons with Azam. 

Kipre had been given permission to miss Azam's pre-season to finalise the move. 

The 24-year-old winger has now signed a four-year contract with the Algerian League side. 

However, Dabo said he is not bothered by the exit of the pacy skilful midfielder who contributed nine assists and scored ten goals last season 

“It is football. During last season we lost Dube and continued to play. I don’t have a problem with losing one player. I have enough players and it is my job now to do something good with them,” he said. 

Azam clinched second place in the Premier League standings, edging out Simba on goal difference, with a 2-0 away victory against Geita Gold on the final day of the campaign at Nyankumbu Ground. 

This result ensured Azam the right to join champions Young Africans as Mainland Tanzania's representatives in the CAF Champions League next season.