Poulsen targets AFCON qualification with Tanzania

Poulsen targets AFCON qualification with Tanzania

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Mar 14, 2021. 15:00

Kim Poulsen, the new head coach of Tanzania’s national team, has talked up their chances of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 61-year-old Dane has succeeded Etienne Ndayiragijje at the head of the Taifa Stars, following a poor showing in the recently concluded African Nations Championship.

Poulsen’s first task will be back-to-back friendlies with fellow East Africans Kenya this coming week (March 15 and 18), before the crunch qualifiers against Equatorial Guinea (away) and Libya (home).

Tanzania find themselves third in Group J, with one of the two qualification slots already taken by Tunisia. This leaves the Taifa Stars battling it out with the other two teams for a berth at Cameroon 2021.

Aside from taking Tanzania to a second successive AFCON, Poulsen also highlights that his role will be to develop young players.

“It has been nice to train intensively close for four days, and we also have another session later on in Kenya,” he is quoted by Goal.

“We want to be ready for the two friendly games against Kenya and [AFCON qualifiers].

“I have two targets; the immediate one is to qualify for AFCON and the second one is to develop the young players we have in the squad since they will be our future stars. They are learning well from their seniors.

“However, the most important thing is to focus on AFCON qualification. Of course we will miss some players in our first friendly game like those of Simba who are preparing for the [CAF] Champions League.”

Poulsen is expecting foreign-based players to boost the squad in time for their key clash in Equatorial Guinea.

“For the foreign-based players we have Nickson Kibabage and Himid Mao [who we have travelled with to Nairobi],” the Dane added.

“Others will join us in Kenya and by 21st I expect to have all players available which is five days to the match according to the FIFA regulations.”

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