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Simba SC target Neiva underlines the weaknesses of African football

23:17 EAT 04/11/2021
Leo Neiva
The experienced tactician, who has been linked with replacing Gomes da Rosa, is thrilled by the prospect of leading the reigning Tanzanian kings

Coach Leo Neiva insists he has the credentials to transform Simba SC into a strong force in African football should he land the job.

The St. Kitts and Nevis boss is a strong contender that has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Didier Gomes da Rosa.

The Frenchman was kicked out in October following Wekundu wa Msimbazi’s exit from the Caf Champions League having lost to Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy.

Speculation in the media is rife that Neiva - who helped the Sugar Boyz reach the second round of a Fifa World Cup qualifier for the first time in their history - could land the job in the coming days.

And while the highly experienced Brazilian is proud to be associated with Simba, he opened up on what he sets to achieve with the Tanzania Premier League reigning kings if appointed as their permanent manager.

“It is pleasure for me to be on the coaching shortlist of candidates to take charge of a great club like Simba SC, a giant in African football,” a confident Neiva told Goal.

“Personally, I feel I can bring my experience from four different continents to bear at the club as well as add a greater tactical organisation to their beautiful game.

“And of course, to help them develop their natural talents and groom them to stardom.”

The 43-year-old is not a stranger to Tanzanian football having recorded successes with Young Africans following his departure from Jamaican elite division side Montego Bay United F.C.

According to him, African football shares striking similarities with that of the Caribbean, and as such, adaptability will not be an issue as it concerns managing the 22-time Tanzanian league champions.

“African football works more with strength combined with the player's natural ability, with a game model based on more ball possession,” he continued.

“The Caribbean style of football is very similar to that of the African continent, although with the influence of English football.

“These continents, I have observed lack decision-making ability in the final third of the field, especially when it comes to scoring.

“For me, that’s not a problem as I can work on this aspect. The other important part is to develop the transition.

“Modern football is the combination of good work with ball possession and good tactical sense without ball possession.”

Pending the time a substantive coach is announced, Thierry Hitimana will continue with the team on an interim basis with Selemani Matola serving as his assistant.