One of the highlights of Tanzanian football this term is the surprise call up of Azam first-choice goalkeeper, Razack Abalora to Ghana national team, the first-ever Ghanaian in Tanzania domestic league to receive a call up for the Black Stars.
Abalora joined Azam in 2017 from West African Football Academy and has established himself as the Chamazi-based club safest pair of hands, showing master class performances in domestic and international fixtures.
During his two and a half years stay in Tanzania, Abalora has helped Azam to win two Mapinduzi Cup titles, CECAFA Kagame Cup and a Tanzania FA Cup. He played all Azam games in Total CAF Confederation Cup games this year before they were knocked out by Zimbabwe debutants, Triangle FC on 2-0 aggregate at the Round of 16.
Having been called by Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah for the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 qualifying double-header against South Africa and Sao Tome e Principe, Abalora sat down with CAFOnline.com for a brief interview. Below are excerpts;
CAFOnline.com: How did you receive news of your call up to the national team?
Razack Abalora: I am very excited by this call-up. I have been working hard since I came to Tanzania. I'm happy that the coach (Kwesi Appiah) has seen my efforts and given me this crucial chance. I feel proud because there is a big pool of Ghanaian players but I am among the few to be called up for the national team. I believe that I was called up because of my good performance in the past two years with Azam.
This is your first call up to the national team, how does it push you to perform much better?
Yes, it is my first. It will push me a lot. It is a big challenge for me to show what I have. I believe that it will add value to my career and push me to perform better.
What do you bring to the Ghana team for the double-header against South Africa and Sao Tome e Principe?
We are going to do our best and put the Black Stars to the place where it does belong, which is the first in Africa. We know that it is not an easy task, but we will keep pushing and with a lot of talents available, I believe we can manage.
What do you make of the Tanzanian league which has propelled you to a national call up?
The Tanzania league is good and competitive. There are a lot of good goalkeepers here and they are doing very well. Every match is tough and competitive; you need to do a lot to perform well.
You are the first choice goalie at Azam. How have you managed that in a short while?
I have been working hard every day to become number one. I can see my career is growing each day. We are doing well in the domestic league and in zonal competitions. The Tanzania league is very competitive, and we managed to finish second and fourth the past two seasons. Azam as a club is growing and I can see a good future at Azam.