Dar es Salaam. A young Tanzanian footballer who is based in the Ukraine, Brian Shirima (13), has expressed his interest in featuring for youth national soccer teams.
The boy currently features in the Ukrainian First League youth soccer, playing for the Smena-Obolon (Ukraine) Football Club based in Kiev.
Speaking to The Citizen on the ’phone last Friday, young Brian said he would feel proud to feature in Tanzania’s national team despite the fact that he is based overseas.
Noting that his elder brother, Christian Shirima, 16, already features in the country’s swimming championships, he revealed that Christian took part in the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships that were held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 28 to September 1 last year.
“Christian was inspired to represent his country in the international competition. I also nurture a dream to represent my country in international competitions. I know there is the U-17 national soccer team, Serengeti Boys – and I want to be a member of the team,” he bubbled with enthusiam.
“It is quite possible that the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) does not know there are Tanzanians who play soccer abroad, and who are eager to feature in national teams, given the chance to do so,” he said – hopefully adding: “I believe that, through the media, the Federation will invite me to join the national team!”
The player was born to Rustice Shirima and Larysa Shirima as their third son, preceded by Adrian (19) – who played for Verona FC, Arsenal FC and Obolon FC, but stopped playing after suffering a serious trauma – and Christian.
The 16-year old Christian is already famous as a swimmer for Tanzania’s national team, having featured in both local and international swimming competitions as a member of the famous Dar es Salaam Swimming Club (DSC).
Currently, Christian is out of action as he undergoes rehabilitation after a serious knee injury.
A fourth sibling of the Shirimas, younger brother Antony-Jaysson, also plays for the Smena-Obolon Football Club as a defender.
Brian – who studies at the Meridian International School in Kiev – started being involved in football as a player in at the tender age of seven years.
That was when he joined Ukraine’s first division youths side Arsenal Football Club in 2014 for which he played for one year as a goalkeeper. During his stay with the club, he helped it to win the second position in Ukrainian Children Championships ranking.
Brian then joined his current club Smena-Obolon, which won the Ukrainian Children Championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in succession.
The club also won the Championships of Kiev and Kiev Region in 2018 and 2019, as well as the World trophy in Klagenfurt Austria (World Mini Trophy: 2017), and the European Trophy in Sofia Bulgaria (Europe Mini Trophy: 2019).
His club also to won the Ukrainian Summer Cup 2018/19 in Lutsk City – when he was the team captain – and clinched the International Summer Cup 2019/20, and in which he was credited with outstanding performance after saving three penalty kicks!
At such a relatively tender age, Brian was named the ‘Second-Best Goalkeeper’ in the World Mini Trophy tournament held in Klagenfurt, Austria.
Then he went on to win the ‘Best Goalkeeper Award’ in the European Trophy in Sofia, Bulgaria, during the Europe Mini Trophy competition.
He also won the ‘Best Goalkeeper Award’ during the 2018/19 International Summer Cup in Vinnitsa - during which time he was the team captain.