At 27 years of age, APR FC midfielder Andrew Buteera is confident he still has time ahead of him to shine and thrive not only locally but also at the international level.
Buteera completed his loan move to AS Kigali last week after almost 10 seasons at APR FC.
His time at the club has been a rollercoaster and was a mix of ups and downs after a series of injuries prevented him for showcasing his talent.
His worst ever injury came ten years ago when Rwanda lost the 2011 CECAFA final to Uganda.
The player himself confessed to Times Sport that the injury came as a result of believing in 'juju' (witchcraft), a decision he still regrets in his football career due to the consequences that followed.
"A teammate I won't mention told me to use my back while going to the pitch or else we would lose the final. There are many things that I was told which I believed in which even made my healing from injuries very difficult," he said.
He adds that more players advised him to use juju but he later became a Christian and stopped believing in witchcraft and is ready to fight that vice for himself as well as prevent it among younger players.
"I regret believing in juju. I was young at the time but now, as a grown up, I only trust in the power of Jesus. Much has been said about players using juju, but I won't let any young player use it. They are able to grow their talent and careers without relying on anything else but their capabilities," he said.
New challenge at AS Kigali
At his best, Buteera is one of the best players that APR FC and Rwanda have in their ranks but injuries have always been his major threat to excellence in football.
He was sidelined for the whole 2020/21 season. However, Butera says he is now fine and ready to show his football fans the best player he always dreamed to become as he embarks on a new challenge at AS Kigali.
Buteera told Times Sport that he's the one who asked the club to loan him to AS Kigali so he can regain game time and rediscover his best form after his former coach Eric Nshimiyimana gave him a call.
"The coach presented to me the plans he has for me at AS Kigali and I requested a loan move to a club where I can get enough time to play. Now that I am injury-free, I am ready to work hard and win the coach's trust and be back to my very best," he said.
Buteera fits well in the team when he plays the number 10 role, a position he has struggled to get at APR FC for years where he would instead be used as a defensive or holding midfielder. But at AS Kigali, the player believes he would achieve a lot with the club once he returns to his original position.
"I want to return to my preferred number 10 position because that is where I feel comfortable the most while on the pitch.
Growing up, Buteera had a dream to one-day play for a big club like Arsenal.
The dream now looks uncertain for the player who has not embarked on a professional career yet at 27 years, but Buteera insists he is not ready to give up.
"I don't doubt my talent and I think it's time to showcase it and push it to the top again. I still have nine more years to play and it's too soon to say that my dream won't come to pass," he said.
Buteera is one of the famous products of the Rwanda U-17 national team that participated in the 2011 U-17 Fifa World Championships in Mexico.
He joined APR FC from Ugandan side Proline FC in 2012 shortly after shining for Amavubi senior national team at the 2011 CECAFA Challenge in Tanzania.