DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 20 – Striker Marcel Kaheza, on loan at AFC Leopards from Tanzanian outfit Simba, says he is excited ahead of a match-up between the two sides on Wednesday in the first round match of the 2019 SportPesa Super Cup at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Kaheza was loaned to AFC by the Tanzanian giants after finding playing time tough to come by following his second coming. Having previously played for the Simba junior team, Kaheza joined MajiMaji and scored 14 goals last season before Simba snatched him back.
He joined AFC Leopards at the beginning of this season and has so far featured in three matches, starting in last Thursday’s 2-1 win over Chemelil Sugar in Kisumu.
“I am really excited to be back home and more so playing against Simba because they are my parent team and I would like to do my best against them. They are a tough team and I think this will be a great challenge for me but I am ready for it,” Kaheza told Capital Sport on Sunday morning after the team’s second training session here in Dar.
He added; “I want to ask the home fans to come out in large numbers and see their home boy play. It would be great to play infront of them again.”
The speedy forward has also cautioned his teammates to be alert when playing against Wekundu wa Msimbazi saying they are a tough nut to crack having featured against them during his time at Maji Maji.
“Simba is a big team here in Tanzania and they have huge support. On the pitch, they are a solid side with very speedy players and we have to play with a lot of caution. They are good in attack and if we defend against them well, we have a chance to win the game and progress,” noted Kaheza.
On whether he will celebrate if he scores against his parent team, Kaheza is making no promises.
“You never know, this is football. It can happen,” he jokes.
Meanwhile, skipper Robinson Kamura expects a tough game from Simba and the tournament in entirety, but says his charges are aiming at getting to the final at least and have a shot at getting a chance to play against English Premier League side Everton FC.
Kamura expects Tanzanian teams to come out strongly and contest for the title with Kenya’s representatives Gor Mahia having won the first two competitions.
“I know Tanzanian teams will come out very strong because they also want to get that chance. I expect a very competitive tournament from all teams and we should be ready to give our best,” the skipper noted.
He added; “We have prepared well and physically we are very fit because back at home the league has picked up. Mentally we are ready to battle for this title and I know if we work hard with my teammates, we can get a good result.”
On the expected challenge from Simba, Kamura says;
“Simba is a tough team, they are playing in the Champions League and have that vast experience. They will also have the home support but for us, we have our eyes fixed on our target and we will work towards that.”
AFC Leopards reached the final of the maiden edition held here in Dar in 2017, losing 3-0 to Gor Mahia in the decider. Last year, they never made it past the first round after losing 4-2 on post match penalties to Singida United.
If AFC will win against Simba who are one of the tournament favorites basing on their form, then they will meet the winner between Bandari and Singida United in the semi finals.