WEYMOUTH centre-back Haji Mnoga confessed his debut for Tanzania was a “proud moment”.

Mnoga, 20, made his debut for the Taifa Stars in March’s 3-1 friendly win over the Central African Republic, playing the opening 45 minutes.

The on-loan Portsmouth defender, who represented England at under-17 level, qualifies for Tanzania via his paternal side as his father hails from the east African country.

After making his debut, Mnoga again played the entire first half in the following 1-1 friendly draw with Sudan. He was replaced by Lusajo Mwaikenda on both occasions.

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Speaking to Echosport on his international exploits, Mnoga said: “It’s something that I’ve been anticipating for a while now.

“I’ve been expecting to go. I was supposed to represent the under-20s at the Africa Cup of Nations but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go because of Covid.

“So, this for this opportunity to come around and able to go was thanks to the gaffer (David Oldfield) and Portsmouth as well.

“For me, it’s a proud moment. It’s something to build on, 100 per cent. To go and represent my country, the fans out there loved my performance so that helped my confidence as well.

“I’m just trying to grow up in the football world and get the most experience I can. I’m still quite young so to be picking them up now is quite good. It will hopefully help me with my career.”

Asked to describe what playing international football was like, he said: “It’s quite surreal, you take it all in.

“It was in Tanzania as well so we had a lot of fans. My dad was really proud and my mum. There was a lot of people supporting me to go.

“We’ve got the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers coming up soon, we’ve got Algeria in our group as well, so hopefully I’ll get some good tests with some more games coming up.”

Mnoga could play in home and away fixtures in Group F against Niger, Uganda and Algeria – the latter possessing the likes of Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez.

Tanzania’s qualification campaign begins on Monday, May 30.