Four challenging tasks facing Yanga’s Gamondi next season

Young Africans (Yanga) head coach, Miguel Gamondi, poses with the two trophies the team won in the recently concluded 2023/2024 season. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The Argentinean, who joined Yanga last season, managed to defy the odds by winning two trophies: the NBC Premier League and the CRDB Federation Cup.

Dar es Salaam. After extending his contract for one year with the Tanzania Mainland Premier League champions, Young Africans (Yanga), the team’s head coach, Miguel Gamondi, now faces four tasks ahead of the next season.

The Argentinean, who joined Yanga last season, managed to defy the odds by winning two trophies: the NBC Premier League and the CRDB Federation Cup.

Additionally, Gamondi broke Yanga’s 26-year jinx by qualifying for the CAF Champions’ League group and reaching the quarterfinals.

Records show that Yanga first qualified for the CAF Champions League group stage (quarterfinals) in 1998, when eight teams made it.

Yanga eliminated Coffee of Ethiopia on 8-2 goal aggregates, recording a 2-2 draw away before securing a 6-1 victory at their home ground, the National Stadium, currently known as the Uhuru Stadium.

Other teams that made their debut in the CAF Champions’ League group stage in 1998 were Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast, Manning Rangers (South Africa), Raja Club Athletic (Morocco), Dynamos Harare (Zimbabwe), Hearts of Oak (Ghana), ES Sahel (Tunisia), and Eagle Cement of Nigeria.

The following are the significant tasks that Gamondi faces ahead of the next season:

Community Shield

This is the first task Gamondi will face at the start of the new season.

Yanga will play against Simba in the opener of the Community Shield, with the winners facing either Azam FC or Coastal Union in the final.

Last season, Yanga lost the title to Simba on 3-1 penalties at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga Region.

Tanzania Mainland Premier League title

Yanga have won the Tanzania Mainland Premier League title for three consecutive seasons: 2021/2022, 2022/2023, and 2023/2024, making it their 30th title in history.

However, Yanga aim to match Simba’s record of four consecutive titles, which Simba achieved in the 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020, and 2020/2021 seasons.

It is an open fact that Simba, Azam FC and other teams will fight hard to stop the Jangwani giants from retaining the title for the fourth time.

This is because most of the teams are already in a player recruitment exercise, aiming to do their best next season.

CRDB Federation Cup

Yanga currently lead in winning the CRDB Federation Cup, which they clinched five seasons. Yanga’s leadership are keen to see the team rewrire history by winning the title for the sixth time.

The winners of the title will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup.

CAF Champions League semifinals

Yanga president Hersi Saidi has stated that their primary target for the next CAF Champions League is to qualify for the semifinals and the final as well.

In the last edition of the CAF Champions League, Yanga targeted to reach the group stage but exceeded expectations by qualifying for the quarterfinals.

However, their chance to reach the semifinals was thwarted by a controversial decision by Mauritanian referee Dahane Beida and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) that disallowed Azizi KI's goal in the 60th, despite television replays showing the ball had crossed the goal line after hitting the crossbar.

Other competitions:

Kagame Cup

The Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations Championship (Kagame Cup) is scheduled to start before the new season.

However, the competition seems not to be a priority for the team, as some teams do not take it seriously and instead field up-and- coming players.

Mapinduzi Cup

This is one of the famous competitions that features top-flight teams from Zanzibar, the Tanzania Mainland and across the East African region.

However, the tournament is not considered the most important, as many teams opt to field reserve players.