Recently national team coach Micho Siredjovic expressed his delight at the improved competitiveness of the national football league.
He said the current level of competiveness in the league will help him select fit players to play for the national team.
I couldn’t agree more with him. Normally when you have competitiveness in the league, you expect many first team players involved to be fit.
When it comes to national team selection, the coach will be able to choose fit players to play for the team in the upcoming international football fixtures.
It should, however, be noted that most of the regional countries do not have or have very few players playing professional football in Europe where the level of competitiveness is high.
It is evident that lack of professional football has hampered the level of performance from many East and Central African countries at international level. This factor should prompt us to seek ways of raising competitiveness and quality of our local football league.
In professionalism they envisage high level of physical fitness, improvement of skills and experience as well.
This is why countries like Zambia and Ivory Coast are playing at the top level. Most of the Zambian players ply their football in South Africa where there is a high level of competitiveness in the league.
South African clubs recruit players with admirable level of the physical ability because there are measures and standards in place to detection.
The South African soccer league known as the ABSA premiership is the best league in Africa. ABSA premiership performs even better than many European soccer leagues.
Locally, we have seen a rise in performance from a host of local clubs here in the country. Police FC, Mukura Victory Sport and youth side Igonga football club are performing well at the moment.
They are giving reigning league champions APR football club a good run for their money for this year’s league title.
Only 4 points separates the first placed Police with 35 points and third placed APR football club with 31 points. Mukura lies second in the current national football league standings. Rayon Sports lies fourth with 28 points, Kiyovu fifth with 25 points and emerging Isonga football club lies sixth with 23 points.
After 17 rounds of the league played so far, the slight difference in points shows the current competitiveness amongst league clubs. We expect coaches to be working hard to register wins and this is where physical fitness will build up.
Many of our national team players come from the home based local teams of APR FC, Rayon Sports, Mukura SC, Kiyovu Sports club, Police FC and Isonga for the under-20 side.
Prior to the build up for the return game against the Nigeria Super Eagles, coach Micho will be looking at those players with consistency in performance.
As physical fitness, skills and experience is the key for national team selection, Micho will be looking at strong players who can break a long standing Super Eagles team with impeccable experience so as to qualify for the CAN 2013 qualifying rounds.
After missing clear cut chances to beat Nigeria on home soil, coach Micho knows areas where Amavubi needs improvement. He will be looking at the new faces for re-enforcements and players who can take Rwanda to another level in terms of international rankings.
Against Nigeria, Rwanda used majority of national football league players and competed favorably with the Super Eagles.
On the socio-economic perspective, FERWAFA and the national football league sponsor Bralirwa will have to work hard to check the socio-economic stand of the clubs so as to protect players from depletion in performance.