Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar Heroes head coach, Hemed Morocco has expressed utmost optimism about his team’s performance at this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya, saying his team will be a hard nut to crack.
Zanzibar Heroes will face Kilimanjaro Stars on December 7 in one of their Group A matches of the annual football showpiece, which kicks off December 3 17 in Nairobi.
According to the fixtures released yesterday by Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa), the tournament will come to a close on December 17.
The Heroes coach said yesterday that at the kickoff whistle, his players will hit the ground running till end of the 12-team tournament.
“We have a very good team, I am sure Zanzibar Heroes will do well in Kenya,” he told The Citizen by phone from Zanzibar.
“I am very positive the boys will deliver to the expectations of the Zanzibar soccer fans,” he added.
Zanzibar Heroes and Kilimanjaro Stars are in Group A, arguably a group of death, together with hosts Kenya, Rwanda and Libya, who will compete as a guest team.
Group B consists of defending champions Uganda, Zimbabwe (a guest team), Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, according to the Cecafa secretary general, Nicholas Musonye.
Kilimanjaro Stars will launch their Challenge Cup campaign against Libya on the opening day of the championship (December 3). The match will kicks off at 2pm, two hours before hosts Harambee Stars take on Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars.
But Zanzibar Heroes should not expect an easy task against Salum Mayanga’s men, who battled to a one-all draw with Benin in an international friendly match in Cotonou last weekend.
Efforts to contact Mayanga for comment on the Cecafa Challenge Cup draw yesterday were not fruitful.
At the same time, the competition’s two-time winners Sudan have abruptly withdrawn, whilst despite the political uncertainty back home, the Zimbabwe national team have confirmed their participation.