VIRTUASO Rwandan midfielder, Haruna Niyonzima and Ugandan striker Emmanuel Okwi are widely expected to steal a show at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam today, as Simba mark its annual bonanza dubbed ‘Simba Day’.
The two players, alongside former Ebusua Dwarfs captain Nicholas Gyan from Ghana are already in Dar es Salaam and joined the rest in the squad. Simba jetted back in Dar es Salaam from South Africa on Saturday, ready for their clash against Rwanda champions Rayon Sports as part of the club’s eagerly awaited ‘Simba Day’ bonanza today.
The Msimbazi Reds concluded their pre-season build up games in South Africa with a 1-1 draw against South Africa 2016/17 premier league champions Bidvest Wit FC in match held at the Sturrock Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.
After losing 0-1 on Tuesday to Soweto giants Orlando Pirates, Simba looked a much brighter side yesterday and went ahead in the 33rd minute through their newly signed defender Erasto Nyoni.
The two sides went into the break with the country’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup in the lead. Wits alias the ‘Clever Boys’ had to wait until the second half to pull level to deny Simba their first victory in South Africa.
Simba pitched a two weeks pre-season camp at the Eden Vale in Johannesburg in preparations for the Mainland Premier League 2017/18 season, which kicks off on August 26th this year.
Simba, under Cameroonian coach Joseph Omog, are also preparing for the next season, CAF Confederation Cup. The annual event is increasingly becoming popular among Simba supporters, and this will be the eighth year in a row the Reds stage the bonanza, which precedes the start of the Mainland Premier League season.
As usual, the club will use the day to unveil new kits for the 2017/18 season, introduce their entire squad for the forthcoming season and award outstanding current and former player.
The new faces will include returning ace striker Okwi, Ghanaian striker Gyan, John Bocco, Niyonzima, Aishi Manula, Salim Mbonde and Shomari Kapombe. Rayon Sports confirmed a preseason friendly match against Simba on the occasion of the Tanzanian club’s 81st anniversary.
The team head coach Olivier Karekezi believes the game will provide him the best opportunity to have a better look at his players in a competitive environment. “From every angle you look at it, this game will greatly benefit us and hopefully we will play more warm-up matches before the start of the season,” Karekezi said on Wednesday evening.
Simba SC new signing Haruna Niyonzima said he can not say anything as his actions will speak for him from today during Simba Day bonanza..
The midfielder said this yesterday in a press conference at the club’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam as he together with other new team’s signings Emmanuel Okwi and Ghanaian Nicholas Gyan were being introduced.
“I am now the legal player of Simba. To say the truth I do not have much to say as my actions will speak for me on the pitch,” Niyonzima said. The trio are expected to be featured in today’s friendly match between Simba SC and Rayon Sports from Rwanda at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.