New Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen drops senior players

By Emmanuel MugaBBC News, Dar es Salaam
New Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen

Kim Poulsen has made an immediate impact as new coach of Tanzania by naming a number of new faces in his first squad.

The new Danish coach has named 22 players as he begins preparations for next month's 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

He has decided to drop several experienced stars in favour of a more youthful squad.

"I've selected these youngsters because I believe they can do the job for the national team," he said.

Poulsen coached Tanzania's under-17 and under-20 before taking over the senior team replacing his compatriot and namesake Jan Poulsen.

The 52-year old has dispensed with regulars such as captain Shadrack Nsajigwa, Nadir Haroub, Henry Joseph, Nizal Khalfan and Abdi Kassim.

Instead there is a recall for young striker Mbwana Samata, who plays in DR Congo for TP Mazembe and had been declared unwanted by the former coach.

There were also first summons for several players from the under-20 side including Ramadhani Singano, Edward Christopher and Frank Domayo.

"There is a future in this team, and I believe their performance will grow and grow," Poulsen said.

The squad will begin a training camp on Wednesday in preparation for a friendly game against Malawi on 26 May.

"We are happy with the friendly, Malawi is a fine team, we will be okay playing a friendly with them," he said.

His first competitive games are next month with 2014 World Cup qualifiers away in Ivory Coast and then at home to The Gambia.

Those games are followed by a trip to Mozambique for the return leg of their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, which is evenly balanced at 1-1 from February's first leg.

Poulsen said he was ready to give it his best and get good results in the qualifiers.

"We will go out and try our best against everyone with a desire to get good results. In football anything can happen," he said.

A new sponsorship deal with Tanzania Breweries means the players are expected to be offered improved bonuses and benefit from well-financed training programmes.