Azam FC face a real test of their Premier League title credentials today when they clash with JKT Ruvu in a build-up match at the Azam Complex.
The Chamazi based outfit had pitched a camp in Zanzibar where they also played several friendly matches, but today's encounter will give the Spanish led technical bench a clue of how they may fare in the 2016/17 season. The league starts on August 20.
Azam will open their new season with the Community Shield match against Young Africans on August 17, a showdown that marks the beginning of the premiership.
In this match, Azam are expected to hand Enock Atta Agyei, the winger they signed from Ghana's Medeama FC, a start, which will give him experience of the Tanzanian league.
The 18-year-old penned a two-year deal for the Chamazi moneybags. He was spotted during Medeama's Confederation Cup match against Young Africans at the National Stadium last month.
Club's head of information and communication Jafar Idd told The Citizen yesterday that the reigning Cecafa Kagame Cup champions will play two friendly matches this week in preparation for the new season, which promises to be more competitive.
"We played several matches in Zanzibar recently and our coaches were impressed with the progress of the team. We want to play two more matches this week and for the first time, the coach (Zeben Hernandez) is expected to hand Agyei a debut," said the Azam spokesperson.
"He just arrived on Saturday, so the coach could not see him play during our Zanzibar friendlies. This is now the chance for the coach and our fans to see Agyei in action before the season gets underway.
"Of course, some of us saw how he performed for Medeama against Yanga. He is really talented and fans should expect a rare treat from our team."
Other notable new signings include Burundian Fuadi Ndayisenga and Ibrahima Fofana of Niger. The duo were with the team in Zanzibar. Idd said Azam will swing back into action this Saturday when they take on newly promoted Ruvu Shooting at Mlandizi.
Azam FC were the runners up in the 2015/16 Vodacom Premier League and will play in Confederation Cup next year.
Source: The Citizen