5 May 2017

Rwanda/Central African Republic: Afcon - Amavubi Intensify Preparations for CAR Tie

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times
Amavubi players undergoing a fitness test at Amahoro National Stadium.

The national football team (Amavubi) have started grueling fitness training under the supervision of Head coach Antoine Hey.

The training started on Thursday at Amahoro National Stadium ahead of the upcoming 2019 AFCON qualifier against Central African Republic in June. The finals tournament will be held in Cameroon.

Hey selected a provisional squad of 41 players, who will undergo fitness tests before entering the official training camp on May 25, according to the national team manager, Emery Kamanzi.

Hey was appointed Amavubi head coach in March after beating off competition from Raoul Savoy (Switzerland) and Rui Aguas (Portugal), to replace Northern Irishman Johnny McKinstry.

His main task is to qualify for the 2018 CHAN and 2019 AFCON finals tournaments in Kenya and Cameroon respectively. He will also be in charge of the U-23 and the Olympics team as they try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Rwanda was drawn in Group H for AFCON 2019 along with Ivory Coast, Guinea and Central African Republic. Amavubi will be looking to qualify for the second time having made its debut in 2004 in Tunisia.

The winner of each group alongside the best three second placed teams will qualify for the tournament along with hosts Cameroon.

Kamanzi said that after the fitness test, the players returned to their respective clubs on Thursday afternoon where they will be given the recommendations of what they need to improve before returning to camp on May 25.

"On Thursday morning, players did the fitness test for almost three hours, they will return to their teams and report back in camp on May 25 to start the official training in preparation for next month's AFCON 2019 qualifier against Central African Republic," Kamanzi told Times Sport.

He added that, "Players will be given instructions on what they will be working on at their clubs as a way of keeping their fitness levels high before returning to the training camp."

Provisional 41-man squad:

Michel Rusheshangoga, Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Herve Rugwiro, Faustin Usengimana, Aimable Nsabimana, Yannick Mukunzi, Muhadjili Hakizimana, Djihad Bizimana, Fiston Nkinzingabo, Patrick Sibomana and Amran Nshimiyimana (APR FC), Thierry Manzi, Savio Dominique Nshuti, Olivier Niyonzima, Fiston Munezero, Djabel Manishimwe, Kevin Muhire and Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Sports), Mohamed Mpozembizi, Eric Ngendahimana, Justin Mico, Jean Marie Muvandimwe, Danny Usengimana and Marcel Nzarora (Police FC), Michel Ndahinduka, Sother Kayumba, Latif Bishira, Rodrigue Murengezi, Bernabe Mubumbyi and Eric Iradukunda (AS Kigali), Aimable Rucogoza, Bertrand Iradukunda, David Nzabanita and Olivier Kwizera (Bugesera FC), Ally Niyonzima and Yussuf Habimana (Mukura VS) Ramadhan Niyonkuru and Francois Hakizimana (Musanze FC) Gilbert Mugisha and Jean de Dieu Nsabimana (Pepiniere FC) plus Ally Mbogo from Espoir FC.

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