Simba SC head coach Roberto ‘Robertinho’ Oliveira has revealed that the club will approach Friday evening’s African Football League (AFL) opener against Egyptian giants Al Ahly with three vital components; confidence, personality and talent.
Wekundu wa Msimbazi face the 11-time African champions in the opening game of the inaugural AFL at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, and Oliveira says they are well prepared to bag a win in the first leg, and make the return fixture in Cairo next Tuesday lighter on their shoulders.
The Brazilian tactician says the three components which he has instilled in his boys will be vital, pointing out that one cannot exist without the other.
“Confidence in the team, personality and talent. These are three important points for winning one game in football. You have big clubs who on the match day, do not have the confidence. I have worked a lot on this because you need to believe in your capacity and with that you have a good chance for winning,” Oliveira, who joined the club at the start of the year from Uganda’s Vipers SC said.
Simba have faced Ahly twice in Dar es Salaam, winning both ties with 1-0 margins. But the coach says history will count for nothing when they face off again on Friday.
“You cannot talk a lot about the result in the past. For me, in football everything is possible. You need a lot of respect in football; for yourself and the opponent,” he noted.
Simba come into the duel with a boost of confidence, having started their domestic season with a brilliant push, winning five games in a row. They have also booked a ticket to the group stages of the CAF Champions League, after edging out Zambia’s Power Dynamos.
The coach says the team is well drilled and prepared and have no fear facing Ahly, who have a massive pedigree in African football.
“I am satisfied with where we are as a club. This is a good moment for Simba (to play in the AFL). Last season we played well with a good performance and it is important we repeat the same in this competition. At Simba, you always have to win with a good performance,” Robertinho said.
He adds; “Ahly is a good club with a lot of experience playing in the Champions League. Simba is also a big club and now number seven in Africa. We respect our opponents and they need to respect us too.”
“We want to win every game and this is a big moment not just for Simba, but Tanzanian football as well. Our objective is to win and make a good performance as well.”
The tactician has also asked fans to come out in their droves, to support the team and bring the noise to enable them earn a good result.
Already tickets are fast selling, with regular and platinum tickets already sold out.
“We want our fans to come out and it is important for us. We will play with heart. I believe in our capacity and strategy for the game. It will be a huge advantage for us to play with 12 men, with the fans in the stands pushing us,” the coach opined.
The game kicks off at 1800Hrs local time (1500Hrs GMT).