Danylyszyn confirms blow for Tamworth as midfielder switches Staffordshire for Egypt

(Credit: Alamy)

Tamworth will be without midfielder Bilal Yafai for the coming season after he accepted an offer to move and play in Egypt.

The news will come as a blow to fans who Yafai endeared himself to with his lung-busting performances in the past two seasons.

Lambs joint boss Andrew Danylyszyn admits Yafai would have been someone the club would have looked to retain for the coming campaign but is routing for him in his move.

“I’m upset about Bilal leaving,” Danylyszyn, who confirmed Yafai will join Egyptian Premier League side El-Gaish, said.

“Sometimes the football doesn’t even come into it and it’s just about the person.

“Things like how he used to bake cakes for my birthday, and he’d sort Buster [Belford] and Degsy [Bond] out on theirs too. It’s that type of thing where we’re going to miss Bilal and what he brings.

“On the pitch, even without mentioning his ability, his willingness to run and cover ground for other people is unbelievable. It’s infectious for the fans because you can see he’s got a desire and a passion to win games of football.

“When people see that, regardless of how you play sometimes, he can set the tempo. It’s hard to replace that kind of mentality and work ethic. People think ability is everything, but those two things are more important. Some people haven’t got the mindset and they fail despite being brilliant players.

(Credit: Alamy)

“We’re going to miss him massively and it’s hurt me on a personal level because he’s such a good person.”

Tamworth fans might not have seen the last of Yafai, however.

His new side’s season finishes before winter, which means a temporary return could be on the cards should the Lambs need reinforcements.

“He’s settled in his new home and his wife and kids are sorted,” Danylyszyn said.

“He’s got his rewards in Egypt, but he did say that their league stops in November or December, and he’s told me to save a space in the squad for him, so he might be back temporarily.

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“If I had a choice, I would not take any other player in his position over him, he’s that good. He might not score 15 goals a season but what he does for the team and how he can drive with the ball, he’s the best in the league.

“When we lost three games in a row, after the Peterborough Sports defeat, people were talking about us losing our jobs.

“We played Royston the next game who were on an good run and Bilal text me and said ‘I understand the pressure you’re under but I’ll run every blade of grass for you.’

“He was tremendous that night and we won. It’s things like that we will miss. He’s a fan favourite because of his attitude.

“Fans will know his brother too who used to come every game. Those two are incredible, they’re free spirits and they don’t let anything bother them. Bilal is the best number ten at our level.”

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