February 25, 2024

Abdelhak Benchikha arrives in Dar to take charge of Simba


Abdelhak Benchikha

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Abdelhak Benchikha has arrived in Dar to take charge of Simba. The Algerian was appointed as the Simba head coach following the dismissal of Brazilian Roberto Oliveira.

Benchikha arrived in the country on Monday night and was received by Simba officials. He was accompanied by his assistant Farid Zemit and fitness coach Kamal Boudjenane.

The well-travelled Algerian, who was hired on a one-year renewable contract, says he is aware Simba supporters expect much from him from what they have heard recently and assured them he is here to deliver success.

“I am very happy to be here in Tanzania. Simba is  a big club, I know what I have to do. I am here for winning, I am here for success. We are here for Simba. All Simba supporters must be strong and patient, we are here for a good performance.”

“ I know how Simba fans think about me, what they expect from me. I must make them happy. Without supporters Simba is nothing. Without the supporters I am nothing. We must perform, when our supporters are happy we are also happy.”

Benchikha is remembered for guiding USM Alger in clinching the CAF Confederation Cup last season. USMA claimed the title on away goals rule following a 2-1 victory in Dar and a 1-0 home loss against Young Africans in the two-leg final. 

Apart from handling USM Alger, he has tutored CR Belouizdad, MC Alger, the Algeria national team, and Raja Casablanca among others. Simba will host ASEC Mimosas in the CAF Champions League group fixture at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

Simba aims to at least do better than the quarter-finals which they have reached three times in the recent five editions of the CAF Champions League. Since the exit of Robertinho, they have been training under the tutelage of interim coach Daniel Cadena and Selemani Matola.

In the two games that followed the 5-1 humiliation in the hands of arch rivals Young Africans, Simba drew with Namungo and ASEC Mimosas.  They are now preparing to face Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy in the CAF Champions League Group Stage in Gaborone on Saturday.

Benchikha’s immediate task will be to end Simba three-match winless run. He needs to engineer a victory against Jwaneng Galaxy to kickstart Simba CAF Champions League group stage campaign after the opening home draw with ASEC Mimosas.

In the NBC Premier League, Simba sit third with 19 points after eight matches. They trail leaders Young Africans by five points albeit with a game in hand against Mashujaa. Benchikha’s league debut will have to wait until mid-December.

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