Tusker FC bank on new talent to shine in Cecafa tournament
Posted Wednesday, July 4 2012 at 18:41
1. Simba (Tanzania Mainland)
2. URA (Uganda)
3. AS Vita Club (DR Congo)
4. AS Port (Djibouti)
1. Azam (Tanzania Mainland)
2. Tusker (Kenya)
3. Mafunzo (Zanzibar)
1. Young Africans (Tanzania Mainland) defending champions
2. APR (Rwanda)
3. Atletico (Burundi)
4. Wau Salam (South Sudan)
Saturday, July 14: APR v Wau Salam, Young Africans v Atletico,
Sunday, July 15: Azam v Mafunzo,
Monday, July 16: AS Vita Club v AS Port, Simba v URA,
Thursday, July 19: Tusker v Mafunzo
Kenya champions Tusker FC hope to bring back the East and Central Africa Club title when they play in Tanzania.
The competition kicks off on July 14 and Tusker have promised to prove to the rest of the region the growth of the Kenyan Premier League.
“We want to go there and win the title. After losing out in the Africa Champions League, we want to add the regional crown to our trophy cabinet,” said Tusker coach Sammy Omollo.
Tusker last participated in the championships in 2008 and lifted it, their eighth success at the regional championships.
“It is definitely not going to be easy because of the quality of teams participating, but we also have a strong side. We have recruited well in the June transfer window and we feel we can match the opposition,” said Omollo.
Young Africans (Yanga), the reigning champions are taking their defence of the title rather seriously. They have enlisted the services of Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet, formerly the Nigeria technical director.
Saintfiet arrived in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday to start work with the Tanzania club who open their title defence against Atletico of Burundi at the National Stadium on July 14 and which will conclude with a July 29 Final.
Eleven teams will be taking part, including new entrants Wau Salam of South Sudan and invited guests, the big club from DR Congo, AS Vita of Kinshasa.
Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye said: “As you are aware, South Sudan just recently joined Fifa family and we at Cecafa are happy to be the first association to have them play.”
Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia are not represented. Musonye says the regional body hopes to make the competition one of the biggest club championships in Africa after the Africa Champions League.
“It is important we maintain the standards of the competition high so as to attract corporate bodies,” he said.
“We appreciate the role the Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has played over the years in sponsoring the championships, but we need to grow bigger.”
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda sponsors the tournament with the $60,000 (Sh5.1 million) prize money, which the winner gets $30,000 (Sh2.5m), runners-up $20,000 (Sh1.7m) and bronze medallist $10,000 (Sh850, 000).
As is Cecafa tradition, they have invited a guest team of top class pedigree in the name of AS Vita, one of two giants of DR Congo, who will be competing in Group ‘A’ alongside Tanzania’s Simba of Dar es Salaam.