Football

‘I hope my Premier League feat will inspire Tanzanians’ – Aston Villa’s Samatta

The 27-year-old forward is living his dream at Villa Park after completing a permanent switch to the English top-flight in January

Aston Villa striker Mbwana Samatta hopes the accomplishment of his dream to play in the Premier League could inspire other Tanzanians in their pursuit of success.

Samatta became the first Tanzanian footballer to play in the English top-flight in February after signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with Dean Smith’s side from Genk.

He marked his debut league outing for Aston Villa with a goal in the 2-1 loss to Bournemouth – the header at Vitality Stadium also made him the first player from an East African nation to score in the Premier League.

Ahead of the commencement of his first full season with the Claret and Blue Army, the ex-TP Mazembe and Genk star disclosed how much of a dream it was for him to play in England.

“When I was starting my professional career, the ultimate goal I set myself was to play in England,” Samatta told Fifa website.

“But more than a goal achieved, coming here was, above all, the realisation of a dream. It’s a dream that a great many Tanzanian players pursue but one that had never been achieved before. I realise therefore how fortunate I am!

“It’s a source of great personal pride, but I hope it can serve to help others. If I can succeed, then other Tanzanians can too. And if I can help them believe in themselves, so much the better!”

On Tuesday, Aston Villa begin their 2020-21 season with a trip to Burton Albion for their Carabao Cup fixture before hosting Sheffield United for their Premier League opener next Monday.

Samatta disclosed the keys to his inspring sojourn from Dar es Salaam to Birmingham as he aims to better his contribution of two goals for Dean Smith’s team last season.

“Faith in God and faith in myself were the keys to my success,” he said. “As well as that, there’s a lot of sacrifice, hard work, determination and discipline.”

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