Tanzania Mainland Premier League champions Simba SC have appointed Didier Gomes Da Rosa as the new head coach.
The veteran coach from France has been appointed to fill the space that was left by Sven Vandenbroeck, who resigned a day after leading the Msimbazi club to the group stage of the Caf Champions League in early January.
"I'm very happy to be here and we have the opportunity to do more together in the future," Da Rosa said as he was unveiled on Sunday.
He arrives as Simba are making preparations to feature in their own organised tournament, the Super Cup 2021, where Al-Hilal and Tout Puissant Mazembe will feature from January 27.
The Super Cup will be used by the Tanzanian heavyweights as proper preparations for their Champions League Group A duties against AS Vita, Al Ahly and El-Merreikh.
The 51-year-old tactician arrives at the club with a full slate as apart from the continental duties – where Simba are hopeful of getting enough points to earn a quarter-final slot after immense business in the last transfer window – Da Rosa will be required to successfully oversee local competitions.
In the league – where they have emerged victors in the last three seasons - Simba are facing what promises to be a tight race against arch-rivals Yanga SC. Timu ya Wananchi are at the top of the table and are unbeaten with the league still in its mid-season break.
Simba have lost two matches but have three in hand and would want to beat their Kariakoo rivals in order to maintain the dominance they have built in the recent past.
Wekundu wa Msimbazi are also the Azam Shield Cup champions and are expected to give a good fight to retain the title. Yanga and Azam are still in the competition and that promises to be yet another fierce race as the reigning champions mount a three-pronged title campaign.
The Frenchman will also be under pressure to restore Simba’s bruised ego in the Kariakoo Derby after they lost - in a penalty shoot-out – during the Mapinduzi Cup final against Yanga in Zanzibar.
In the first derby meeting of the season, Simba were lucky to find a late equaliser after they seemingly struggled to contain a determined Yanga on November 11. The second league derby promises to be yet another encounter with high stakes given that its result may end up determining the course of the title race.
Da Rosa is an experienced tactician especially on the African football scene, having taken charge of Rayon Sports, Coton Sport, CS Constantine, JSM Skikda, Ethiopian Coffee FC, Horoya AC, Ismaily SC, and El-Merrikh.
The coach is a 2013 Premier League winner with Rwandan giants Rayon Sports and also helped Coton Sport become champions in 2014 and 2015.
Personally, he has had a number of achievements as he was named the best coach in Cameroon in 2014 and won a third-best French coach in Africa in the Zarpa Awards of 2015.