Simba off to Egypt to prepare for the 2024/2025 season

By Michael Mwebe ,, Seth Mapoli , The Guardian
Published at 06:00 AM Jul 09 2024
Simba SC players arriving at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam yesterday ready for their pre-season tour in Egypt.
Photo: Courtesy of SSC
Simba SC players arriving at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam yesterday ready for their pre-season tour in Egypt.

THE Simba first-team squad set out on their pre-season tour, flying to Egypt for a training camp in Ismailia as preparations ramp up ahead of the new campaign.

The team left Dar yesterday afternoon and will stay in Egypt for three weeks before returning to the country for the final stage of preparations for the start of the 2024/2025 season which will kick off with the Community Shield top-four tournament.

‘Wekundu wa Msimbazi’ will be based in Ismailia, a city in north-eastern Egypt that is situated on the west bank of the Suez Canal.

Simba’s information[SW1]  and communication manager Ahmed Ally confirmed the squad is almost at full strength now, with many of the club’s internationals having arrived in the country last weekend. Goalkeeper Ayub Lakred will join the team directly in Egypt as he is now in Morocco for a holiday.

Twelve new players have been signed in a busy transfer window as the club reshape their squad. The new signings centre back Valentin Nouma, Zambian winger Joshua Mutale, Ugandan centre forward Steven Mukwala, Ivorian attacking midfielder Jean Charles Ahoua, Nigerian midfielder Augustine Okejepha and Congolese midfielder Debora Fernandez.

Local arrivals are Omary Omary from Mashujaa, striker Valentino Mashaka from Geita Gold, midfielder Yusuph Kagoma from Singida Fountain Gate and centre back Abdulrazack Hamza.

They have announced the departures of Shaban Chilunda, Saido Ntibazonkiza, Luis Miquissone, John Bocco and Kennedy Juma as part of their squad overhaul. 

Sadio Kanoute, Babacar Sarr and Pa Omar Jobe are also reportedly not part of Simba plans for next season.

In Egypt, the team's technical staff, led by Fadlu Davids, will work to achieve the greatest benefit during the camp with technical and physical training that will prepare the players, in addition to friendly matches, during which he will be keen to try out some technical plans and tactical setups.

After the end of their one-month vacation following the conclusion of the 2023/24 campaign, coach Davids will be keen at the beginning of the preparations to urge the players to do their utmost during the coming period to achieve the maximum possible benefit.

Despite winning the Community Shield and Union Cup, Simba disappointed in the Premier League, African Football League and Federation Cup.

They were expected to challenge Young Africans for the league title but ended up battling and being usurped by Azam for the CAF Champions League spot.

Meanwhile, Simba’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mohamed ‘Mo’ Dewji, held a motivational meeting with the technical bench and players before the team’s departure. 

Dewji emphasized the importance of setting high goals for the season, urging the team to reclaim their former glory. 

“I have high hopes for the team registered with the existing technical bench. My goal is to see Simba take the African championship. This should be at the forefront of the players’ minds,” Dewji asserted.

Dewji’s message was clear: the team must focus on winning back all the titles they have lost in recent years. 

“I, along with the entire Board of Directors, believe in all of you. Each one should understand Simba is a big team with big needs. For that reason, they must commit themselves to achieve the team’s goals,” Dewji stated.

Reflecting on his vision for the club, Dewji reiterated his long-term ambition. 

“From the first day I came to invest in this club, I made it very clear that my goal was to see Simba win the CAF Champions League. Fulfilling this will settle my soul, and it will be possible if the players give their all in every game,” he declared.

As the team gears up for the new season, the training camp in Egypt will play a vital role in preparing the players both physically and mentally. With a blend of experienced professionals and promising new talent, Simba aim to make a significant impact in all competitions they participate in.

The commitment from the club’s leadership, coupled with the strategic signings and the appointment of a new head coach, underscores Simba’s determination to achieve excellence. The fans eagerly await the results of the pre-season efforts and hope to see their team dominate on the domestic and continental fronts.

Simba’s journey to Egypt marks the beginning of what promises to be an exciting and challenging season. As the players and technical staff work hard to gel as a unit, the club’s supporters remain optimistic about the future, inspired by the ambitious vision set forth by their leaders.