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AFCON: Tanzania's Non-League Stars

All footballers dream of playing for their country and wearing their home nations badge on their chest. When it comes to national teams we think top league players such as previous Tottenham star Harry Kane for England or current Tottenham player Timo Werner for Germany. However for some countries not all their players play for top tier clubs.

In this year's African Cup of Nations there are some players who have been picked by their nations who currently play for English non-league clubs. These players include: Mohammed Sagaf, Tarryn Allarakhia and Ben Starkie, Haji Mnoga. All four of these players play in leagues below the top tiers of English football and despite this have been noticed by their county and have been called up to be part of their country's team for the 2024 African cup of nations.

It's not just players from English non league clubs that are having player being called up to play for their country. There are multiple countries.

Tanzania is one of the African squads which is made up of many non-league players. One of these players is Haji Mnoga. Haji Mnoga is a Portsmouth-born Tanzanian footballer who currently plays for national League club Aldershot Town FC on loan from home town club Portsmouth. As a teenager he was noticed by England scouts and played for England youth teams. Since 2022, he has made eight appearances for Tanzania.

A second player who has been selected for the Tanzania squad is Leicester born Ben Starkie. Currently he is at Non league Premier League team Ilkeston Town. He has previously been at the National League north club Alfreton Town.

In addition to this they have Miano Van De Bos. Miano Van Den Bos plays for a non league Spanish club who are in the sixth tier of Spanish football. The player has been called up to join the squad at this years African Cup of Nations. He has played in a couple of friendlies for Tanzania prior to this year's tournament.

Another non league player who has made an appearance for his country in this year's AFCON is Swedish goalkeeper, Kwesi Kawawa. He has been chosen to be part of the Tanzania quad alongside teammate Milano.

Tanzania play their first game of the African Cup of Nations on 17th of January. Tanzania face Morocco at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro, Ivory Coast. When it comes to both of these sides coming face to face in their last three games Morocco have won twice and Tanzania once. With Morocco beating Sierra Leone in their last game, they are going into their next fixture as the favourites with top player including Hakimi, Aguerd and Ziyech. Having a top line up they are going into the African Cup of Nations trying to keep up their good runs and wins.

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