August 4, 2021

Matola explains why Simba SC moved to sign Chikwende from FC Platinum

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The assistant coach denies claims they are always targeting to sign players who have done well against them

Simba SC coach Selemani Matola has dismissed claims they are not good at scouting because they tend to sign players who have always scored against them.

In recent transfers, Simba have always signed players who have scored against them, the first example being Louis Miquissone who arrived at Msimbazi from UD Songo after notching a goal against them.

The club then moved to sign winger Bernard Morrison from rivals Yanga SC after the Ghanaian scored a well-taken free-kick in the second round of 2019-20 derby to help his team end their winless run against the champions.

And on January 16, Simba signed striker Perfect Chikwende from FC Platinum of Zimbabwe, and this happened a week after the player had scored against them in the Caf Champions League fixture played in Harare.

Though Platinum carried a slim 1-0 advantage heading into the return leg, Simba turned on the screw to win 4-0 and advance to the group stage of the competition on a 4-1 aggregate.

The club’s assistant coach Matola has come out to deny the criticism insisting they have always gone for the best signings in the transfer market.

“I think it is all about understanding well the player when you directly face him in both home and away matches because you get a chance to see him better,” Matola told Daily News.

“In such cases, if you have an opportunity, it is better to sign him. It is advisable to recruit a player you have seen playing. I, therefore, think that they do the right thing to sign those players who look dangerous at their sides when facing us.”

The Wekundu wa Msimbazi have been drawn to play defending champions Al-Ahly of Egypt, AS Vita from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudanese giants Al-Merrikh in Group A of the competition, and according to Matola they will make it from the group if they embark on early preparations.

“It is called the League of Champions meaning that you cannot find a weak opponent in such competition,” Matola continued. “But, most of our players are not new to the contest as they reached the same stage [group stage 2018], and the following year, we could not make it further.

“Now, we are again in the group stage as such, players are aware of what they ought to do and how to challenge their opponents in the group. The competition requires people who are mentally and physically fit.”

Simba are currently on a one week break after they returned from Arusha in Zanzibar where they lost the final of the Mapinduzi Cup to rivals Yanga.