Mukura should look at the youth option

Formed in the early 1960s, Mukura Victory Sport is one of the oldest clubs in the country. Despite its early exisistance, the club has not won any silverware in Rwandan football, post 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha

Formed in the early 1960s, Mukura Victory Sport is one of the oldest clubs in the country. Despite its early exisistance, the club has not won any silverware in Rwandan football, post 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

They came so close in late 1990’s and early 2000’s but still failed to clinch the national football league title due to longstanding problems linked with financial stress and chronic poor administration.

Based on the trend of the club’s sporting history, the Huye-based outfit has performed better with home grown talents. About ten years ago, Mukura was comprised of home grown players in the likes of the late Claude Ishimwe, Gregoire Mugiraneza to mention but just two.

They had pride and love for putting on the club’s ‘Yellow and Black’ strips, and were always inspired by playing in front of the home crowd.

In late 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s Mukura was always one of national league title contenders. But this good sporting history has already been forgotten by the club faithful.

When you look at the current technical committee of the club, there is no single prominent former player on it. Only Canesius Nshimiyimana has been retained but with reduced powers and inadequate motivation.

It is important to keep historical players or achievers at the club and this is why most of the successful clubs in Europe are run by their former players or members. They bring in memorable experience that is passed on to the successive generations.

Likewise, Mukura should find ways of keeping key former players at the club. Though the club lost the majority of its top hierarchy in 1994 Genocide against the for Tutsi, there should be steady plans to make replacements by now for the good of the club.

Sources from Huye blame the origin of limited success on and off the field as to the apparent lack of proper sporting plan and integrity by the club’s top officials.

After 18 years of reconstruction, there should be already an ongoing plan to restore the club’s lost pride.

In sports, and particularly modern football, most clubs only succeed on the foundation of talented young players coming through youth ranks to replace the aging elites. Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal are some of the living examples of this.

People who are involved in youth football development programmes particularly in Huye district and Southern Province at large, ought to know the massive need for young people to play the game.

There are lots of talented young players but most of them have so many social distresses to contend with, with little of no career guidance. Social distress challenges are the major obstacles in any talent or player development.

You can imagine if there was no one to look after Lionel Messi out there on the dirty streets of Buenos Aires in Argentina, would he be the best we are seeing right now?

In talent development, clubs or institutions need intelligent scouting network that can go out to even the remotest village in search for the untapped talents.

The current U-20 national team, formerly the U-17 team is the best example of a well thought–out talent detection plan. Most of the players were scouted from the grassroots level and now everyone is talking about them as the future Amavubi stars.

In the Southern Province, there are lots of young good talents all over the street of Huye, Nyamagabe but there is no one to tap into these raw talents and give them support.

For Mukura in particular, this season has been a success even without winning anything (yet).  This has been made possible because of the fact that the administrative problems were solved by substantial interventions from Volcano boss Olivier Nizeyimana, who took over as the club president at the start of the campaign.

Since he took over as the club patron, the playing and coaching staff’s immediate problems have been reduced. They get paid on time and haven’t missed a league game because of lack of transportation as had been the case in the past.

Mukura put up impeccable performances early in the season that saw them finish the first half of the season on top of the league table standings.

Although the team has slumped in form and dropped from second to fourth spot in the recent weeks, there is a sign of improvement compared to the past five seasons or so.

Last season Mukura was so close to relegation, but the current league table standings prove their renaissance. Now Mukura’s top hierarchy and Huye district administration need to find steady plans to help young players, who will offer the club a long term future.

Home grown players perform better for the club than imported players. 

They (home grown talents) are relatively less costly to manage than imported players, so Mukura and any other club in Rwanda need to take a long and hard look at how their clubs are being run for a sustainable bright future.


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