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Zanzibar midfield dynamo open to KPL move

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Zanzibar Heroes midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame in action for the side during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10- Having impressed in the three matches he has played so far for the Zanzibar Heroes at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame – watched by several Kenyan Premier League coaches- says he is open to a move to the KPL.

Makame says he loves the atmosphere in the country and though he does not know so much about the Kenyan top tier, he wouldn’t bulge on the idea of taking the long trip if any club asks of his services.

“Yeah I wouldn’t mind. I have stayed in Kenya for a week now and I think I love it here. The people are great and if a club would be interested in moving for me, I would welcome it as long as we have an agreement,” the 21- year old midfielder noted.

Makame who turns out for Taifa Jang’ombe in the Zanzibar Premier League has been a pillar for the islanders alongside midfield partner Feisal Salum Abdallah with the side making it into the semi-finals.

His tactician Suleiman ‘Morocco’ Hemed has praised the duo for their outstanding performance so far with Makame hitting both assists in Zanzibar’s 2-1 win over Tanzania.

“We have generally a very young team here and they have shown that they can do it. I would be happy for them if they got a chance to play here in Kenya. If they bring the right amount to their teams why not?” Hemedi joked.

Tanzanians haven’t succeeded as much as their Ugandan counterparts have in the Kenyan Premier League. Perhaps, the biggest success story has to be Sony Sugar midfielder Abdallah Hamisi whose exploits with the sugar belt have seen him earn a Taifa Stars call up.

AFC Leopards also had two decent tanzanians on their side between 2010 and 2012, left back Idrissa Rajab and midfielder Salim Kinje.

Zanzibar Heroes midfielder Abdul Aziz Makame drives forward under close watch from Kenya’s Whyvonne Isuza during a CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

The midfielder believes that Zanzibar have what it takes to go all the way to the finals of the tournament and has promised the team will work hard to ensure they achieve their targets.

“We have played very well so far and especially getting a point off the hosts Kenya was great. They are a good team with good players and it was important to get a result.”

“Now our focus is on the semis and I want to assure the people of Zanzibar that we will give them something good,” Makame said.

Zanzibar will play their final group match on Monday against Libya and a winner will see them top the group. If they draw and Kenya beats Tanzania by a low margin, they will still top the group.

Despite the fact that they have already qualified, coach Hemed says they will approach the tie with as much seriousness as they have a target of winning all their group matches.

“We approach every game professionally and the Libya game is no exception. We go into the game with an ambition of winning and we cannot even at one moment go in softly. We have watched Libya play and we know what we need to do to win,” the coach added.

Zanzibar has won the Senior Challenge Cup once in 1995 when they beat hosts Uganda 1-0. It was their only appearance in the final. They have won bronze thrice; in 2005, 2009 and 2012 when they beat Tanzania on post match penalties in the play-off in Kampala.

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