Dar es Salaam. Azam FC had two reasons to celebrate yesterday, advancing to the final of the 2017 Mapinduzi Cup and with news of the appointment of a new coach.
The Chamazi-based team beat hosts Taifa Jang’ombe 1-0 to book a place in Friday’s final with Simba or Young Africans, who were due to lock horns in the second semi-final clash last night.
The former Cecafa Kagame Cup champions welcomed the win with news of the appointment of Romanian Aristica Cioaba as the new head coach after recent turmoil over the coaching staff.
The club’s chief executive officer, Saad Kawemba, confirmed the appointment of the new coach in the club’s website yesterday.
Kawemba said Cioaba, 45, has signed a six-month contract, suggesting his long stay at the club would depend on how he steers the team in the Mainland Premier League.
Currently, Azam sit third in the league table behind league leaders Simba and Young Africans who occupy the second position.
Action in the league resumes next month following a break during which the teams competed in the Mapinduzi Cup as part of their preparations for the final leg of the top flight. Cioaba replaces Spaniard Zeben Hernandez, who parted ways with Azam two weeks ago following the team’s poor performance in this season’s Mainland Premier league.
He will be assisted by Tanzanian coaches Idd Cheche and Idd Abubakar, who are now in Zanzibar with the team for the Mapinduzi Cup, according to Kawemba.
Cioaba and his assistants will seek to get the best out of the money bags playing unit, which has struggled in the Mainland Premier League. Kawemba said he was optimistic the new coach would propel the team to higher heights of success.
“The board of directors of Azam FC would like to officially announce that Cioaba is the team’s head coach,” said Kawemba in the club’s website.