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Barker impressed with talented Msengi

Stellenbosch head coach Gavin Barker has heaped praise on new Tanzanian signing Ally Msengi and compared him to a young Andile Jali.

Msengi was snapped up by the Premier Soccer League side in January, and played just once, in a narrow loss to Mamelodi Sundowns before all sporting activities were halted as a result of the Coronavirus.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Barker said he has high hopes for his new signing.

He said: "Ally was first introduced to us by his agent last year and we invited him for a 10-12 day trial in November.

"I could see from the first touch that he was talented and he impressed.

"I had other players coming up to me and saying‚ 'coach‚ we must sign this kid'. That tells you a lot when a 17-year-old can immediately earn their respect."

On his debut, Barker added: "It was a big game against Sundowns‚ and to throw him in was a bit tough for him.

"He was caught in possession for their goal‚ and you wondered if that would make his head drop‚ but instead he grew in stature.

“He reminds me of when I had Andile Jali as a young player [at University of Pretoria]. He has very similar attributes.

"He is one of those midfielders who can get forward and attack‚ as well as get back and defend. He also has a great character as a person."