Dar es Salaam. Tanzania will today become the first team to land in Egypt for the 24-nation 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Coached by Nigerian legend and 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner Emmanuel Amunike, Taifa Stars will depart Dar es Salaam Friday morning for Cairo and while there set up a two-week training camp to prepare for the tournament.
According to Tanzania Football Federation the preparations will including competing in successive international friendlies against hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe on June 13 and 16 respectively.
Tanzania is drawn in Group 'C' of the Nations Cup and will face Algeria, Senegal and northern neighbours Kenya.
"We are heading there early because it is the coach who planned for that," said Ndimbo
"The two friendlies are very important to enable the coach select his final 23-man squad from the travelling contingent of 32. We have high expectations from this tournament and are hoping to at least get out of the group and progress to the round of 16."
"Just like the matches involving Gor Mahia against Simba, our game against Kenya will be tough but entertaining as well. We are confident but it is a tough call."
Yesterday, the team contingent was treated to a luncheon at the Whitesands Hotel in Dar es Salaam by Deputy Minister for Sports Juliana Shonza.
"We are very confident you will make us proud over there but remember discipline is key," she told Mwanaspoti.
Tanzania's contingent includes Belgian-based striker Mbwana Samatta who's recently been linked with a move to either Aston Villa or Cardiff City in the English Premier League.
There is also space for Simba striker John Bocco, who scored twice for his club in a recent friendly versus Spain's Seville.