RWANDA's U-17 team is set to start preparations this weekend ahead of the 2013 African Youth Championship qualifier against Botswana.
Richard Tardy's team will face Botswana in the second round first leg on October 13 in Gaborone and the return leg will be played on October 27 in Kigali.
To reach the second round, Botswana beat Malawi 4-2 on penalties after both teams played an overall 3-all draw after the second leg played in Gaborone over the weekend.
Junior wasps head coach Tardy said yesterday, "We are starting preparations on Saturday. We believe that the three weeks of training together is enough to make us ready for the qualifier next month."
The Frenchman plans to engage his team in at least one friendly match before they play Botswana. A request has been made to Tanzania Football Federation but there has been no official response from Dar es Salaam.
The junior wasps played two friendly matches against Nigeria's Golden Eaglets early this month as part of the preparations. The team lost 0-5 and 0-3.
However, Tardy commended the efforts of his team since it was the first time they were playing a match of such magnitude, saying the matches offered him a clear-cut chance of assessing and picking the right team for the trip to Botswana.
Despite the loss, Tardy is still hopeful about the country's chances of qualifying for the next African championship in Morocco.
Last year, Rwanda reached the final of the U-17 African Championship hosted in Kigali only to lose to Burkina Faso 2-1, but earned first appearance at the Fifa U-17 World Cup finals held in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Somali U-17 football squad beat Sudan 1-0 in Khartoum to set up a clash against Algeria in the second round.
In other matches, Zimbabwe beat Mozambique 4-2 on aggregate; Nigeria thumped Niger 6-1 on aggregate, while Mauritania ousted Libya 6-4 on aggregate.
CAF U-17 qualifiers:
Botswana vs Rwanda
Rwanda vs Botswana