Tanzania opt for youth ahead of COSAFA Championships

Coach Bakari Shime has named his squad for this year’s COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship to be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from August 1-11 as the East African guest nation gun for glory.

Shime has gone for a very young selection, with the majority of the players born in 2003, as he looks to build a side for the coming years.

That includes 15 year olds, striker Aisha Masaka and midfielder Irene Kisisa, as well as a number of players who have only turned 16 in the last few months.

Tanzania have been drawn in Group A at the COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship and will face Botswana in their opener on August 2.

They will then face Eswatini two days later, before closing out their pool play with a clash against Zambia on August 6.

The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.

The nation is seeking to become the first guest side at a COSAFA even to walk away with the main trophy.

Cameroon came close to doing that last year when they reached the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship, but lost 2-1 to South Africa in the decider.

Kenya also reached the final of the men’s COSAFA Under-20 Championship in 2013, but also lost to the South Africans. Women’s football is on the rise in Tanzania, though the country has attempted to qualify for the African Under-20 Cup of Nations for Women in the last three editions only.

In 2014 they defeated Mozambique 15-1 on aggregate in the first round, but lost 9-1 to South Africa in the next stage.

In 2015 they were beaten 4-0 by Zambia in the first stage, and in 2018 lost 9-0 to continental powerhouses Nigeria.

Tanzania squad:

Tausi Abdallah, Janeth Simba

Defenders: Ester Gindulya, Enekia Lunyamila, Protasia Mbunda, Fumukazi Nguruwe, Vaileth Machela, Rahabu Mufumya, Emeliana Mdimu

Midfielders: Irene Kisisa, Joyce Charles, Janeth Pangamwene, Eva Jackson, Diana Msewa, Shamimu Salum

Strikers: Wema Maile, Pheromena Kuzima, Opa Tukumbuke Sanga, Aisha Masaka, Agness Palangyo