Young Africans have just completed a near-perfect season, winning the league and the Tanzanian Cup. Beaten in the CAF Cup final, the Tanzanian club will also have to deal with the effects of these results, with the probable departures of Nasreddine Nabi, their Tunisian coach, and several players, including Congolese striker Fiston Mayele.
Young Africans to clean the house
Success often precedes major upheaval. Like others before it, Tanzanian club Young Africans will not escape this unwritten but ultimately inevitable rule. The Dar Es Salaam outfit's 2022-2023 season was a fine one, with a 29th league title and a Tanzanian Cup victory over Azam FC (1-0). It could have been magnificent, however, had Yanga not failed in the CAF Cup final against USM Alger of Algeria (1-2, 1-0). At the end of an exhausting season for the players and their Tunisian coach Nasreddine Nabi, the club's directors know that they must prepare for a number of departures, including that of the coach.
Nabi to Kaizer Chiefs
Appointed in 2021, Nasreddine Nabi is a former coach of Leopards de Dolisie (Congo) and Al-Merriekh (Sudan), and has won numerous titles with Young Africans. This has obviously not gone unnoticed, particularly in South Africa. Kaizer Chiefs, one of the country's most prestigious clubs, even though it has lost some of its lustre in recent years, has made Kabi its priority. The two parties are close to an agreement, although there are still a few details to be finalised, particularly with regard to the composition of the coaching staff, with the Tunisian keen to work with assistants he knows well. Still in Dar Es Salaam, Nabi could travel to Johannesburg in the next few days to finalise his arrival, before going back to his family in Belgium and spending a few days holiday in Tunisia.
Mayele in demand
Nabi's departure from Young Africans, at the end of his contract, will be accompanied by the departures of several players. "There's a sort of end of cycle coming up. I don't know exactly who will be leaving, although we can assume that striker Fiston Mayele is the player most in demand," admits the coach. The 28-year-old Congolese international finished top scorer in the CAF Cup (7 goals), and also scored as many in the Champions League, as Young Africans took part in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. He also racked up 16 goals in the league. Leopoard, recruited in 2021 from AS Vita Club, has no shortage of suitors in South Africa (Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundows), Tunisia (Esperance Tunis), Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.
Young Africans are likely to negotiate his transfer for no less than €1 million, but the player, who has joined his national team in Cameroon, where they are preparing for their trip to Gabon on 18 June for Matchday 5 of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, will not be making a statement on his future before then. Other players, both foreign and Tanzanian, are also expected to leave the country's economic capital in the coming weeks.