May 13, 2021

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Poulsen: Tanzania players ready for ‘big day’ against rivals Kenya

The Danish tactician is looking forward to a ‘big day’ when Taifa Stars come head-on with Harambee Stars in a friendly at Nyayo Stadium

Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen has maintained his players are now ready to take on Kenya’s Harambee Stars in a friendly at Nyayo Stadium on Monday.

The Danish tactician will be taking charge of his first major assignment for Taifa Stars after he returned to handle the team following the exit of Burundian Etienne Ndayiragije, who was shown the exit door after the team’s poor display at the African Nations Championships held in Cameroon.

Despite missing foreign players in his squad, coach Poulsen has claimed his squad has prepared well for the friendly after five to six days of intensive training sessions and they are now looking forward to getting a positive result away from home.

“Today [Sunday] here in Nairobi we held our final training before we play our first international friendly against Kenya tomorrow [Monday],” Poulsen told Goal after their training session at Nyayo Stadium, the venue for the build-up.

“It was a good last training where we had focused on some good passing and receiving the ball and of course also checked our standard situations and I have the feeling everyone is looking forward to the game after five to six days of intensive training sessions everybody is ready to what we call the big day tomorrow [Monday].

“For a football player it is all about playing games, you prepare and prepare well, get ready and then you plan to play the game and it is now showtime, it is time for the players to show me and the country what they have been getting in training and we are ready to get a win.”

On his part, Taifa Stars player Himid Mao, who turns out for Egyptian side ENNPI, told Goal they know they are playing a rival from East Africa and will do their best to carry the bragging rights.

“So far we are okay, we have done our last training session and the coaches have done their part especially on the technical style of play, and I know all the players know and understand what they were told,” Mao told Goal.

“We all know what we are coming up against Kenya, we know they are our rivals and always when we meet we must fight to win, it is a derby and we know the expectations and we will try our best to give the best game ever, we are ready to take them on.”

It will be the first time Kenya and Tanzania are meeting in Nairobi after Taifa Stars eliminated Harambee Stars in Chan qualification in 2019.