Though APR Football Club head coach Andreas Spier has faced criticism in recent days from the media fraternity, the Germany born tactician should be given more time to turn around the club’s fortunes.
Spier was the technical director of APR Academy for three years before he was appointed the head coach of the Rwanda’s most successful football club.
Normally in every job there are descriptions and targets that a particular Company or society puts insight. Since Spier has been at APR for three years, APR FC executives should be aware of his potential before his full appointment to the high profile job.
Spier replaced long serving coach Eric Nshimiyimana, who had endured a bad season with the club and subsequently losing potential to compete for the top spot in the national football league and missing out on the next year’s CAF competitions, the first time in recent memory.
Before Nshimiyimana resignation from APR, he was the assistant to the German together with former APR defender Didier Bizimana as well as Ibrahim Mugisha, who works as the goalkeeping coach.
Nshimiyimana is one of the most popular coaches in the country and has a good reputation as a former national team player. But he is yet to prove doubters wrong in the coaching profession as his demotion from the head coach role was subject to a series of poor results.
APR, who have won the Rwandan football league 13 times in 18 seasons, were walloped 4-0 by league leaders and archrivals Rayon Sport, which also followed their preliminary round exit from the Africa Champions League at the hands of Burundian champions Vital’O FC.
On another hand, Nshimiyimana should not only be the one to blame for the team’s recent slump as the whole APR management should be carrying answers. The club has just changed from foreign policy to youth development. Youth development takes time and you cannot get results in one or two years.
In an effort to resurrect from the misery losses, APR management decided to change their technical staff. However, Eric should not only be solely responsible for the slump in performance as the club had just changed policy from the foreign imports to local youth talents.
This could have been the reason behind Spier’s appointment as the German has a rich history working with the youth teams.
Spier came to Rwanda in 2008 but had worked with the Germany football federation (DFB) in youth football development programs for over five years in the Rhineland Phalz region.
In Rwanda, he was the manager of the women national team before he became the head coach of APR football academy that later changed its name to Intare FC based in Huye and featured in the second division league.
Sources from within the APR camp reveal that there is no bad blood between Spier and Nshimiyimana but admitted there has been a series of disagreements on some technical changes within the team. Both coaches have a different style and approach to the game, and with this kind of the game aspect you expect to have some heated discussions on various technical aspects of the team especially in areas where football as a sport is not well integrated in our culture. After 22 rounds of league matches played and four left to the end of the season, APR is placed in third position with 39 points, six points behind second-placed Police FC and nine points behind Rayon.