Simba SC skipper John Raphael Bocco says the team is in good spirits ahead of their duel with Egypt’s Al Ahly in the opening fixture of the Africa Football League in Dar es Salaam on Friday.

Bocco says the opportunity of playing the 11-time African champions is motivation in itself, and says such matches give the players and extra push to bring in their best game.

“We know we are up for a big and tough game, coming up against a team with lots of experience. We want to go all out for a win especially noting that we are playing at home,” Bocco said.

He added; “Such games are usually a motivation in themselves for players because we all want to go out and show what we can do as a team. We have good players and a team with a blend of young and experienced players and the focus is one, to go onto the pitch and win. We are not 11 players on the pitch but a team.”

Simba have beaten Ahly on both occasions the Red Devils have played in Dar es Salaam, and Bocco says this is a motivation for them and it gives the players extra drive, that they can deliver victory for the third time against the 11-time African champions.

“It is a knockout game and we need to start well and win at home. For such matches, winning at home is usually a very key aspect if you want to make the next round. We want to qualify for the semis and the best way to do that is to get a good victory here in Dar es Salaam. We will have our fans filling the stadium and we won’t disappoint them,” Bocco stated.

The skipper has also called on the fans to bring the noise to the stadium, and push them to achieve a memorable result against the visitors from Egypt.