Antoine Hey vows to rekindle Amavubi’s winning mentality

National team head coach Antoine Hey has promised to rediscover Amavubi’s winning mentality when the team assembles to start preparations for the 2018 CHAN and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which will start in June.
Amavubi head coach Hey (centre) has spent his time in Rwanda, since taking the job, watching league matches as he assesses the national players. / Courtesy
Amavubi head coach Hey (centre) has spent his time in Rwanda, since taking the job, watching league matches as he assesses the national players. / Courtesy

National team head coach Antoine Hey has promised to rediscover Amavubi’s winning mentality when the team assembles to start preparations for the 2018 CHAN and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which will start in June.

Amavubi will enter residential camp on May 29 to start preparations. Rwanda are in Group H, alongside Ivory Coast, Guinea and Central Africa for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Hey’s main task is to lead Rwanda to 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.

The German tactician said that to qualify, Amavubi will need to either top the group or finish second but having amassed enough points to qualify as the best first runners-up.

“We are progressing well with assessing players and I believe that we will get good players, who will help the team in the upcoming qualifiers. The technical staff is working hard to get the best players,” Hey told Times Sport.

Amavubi will start the campaign for AFCON 2019 Cameroon qualifiers when they play away against Central Africa between June 5-13.

The selected players will undergo a fitness test on May 4 before entering the official training camp on May 29.

He noted that, “Our target is to reach the finals. It is a very tough challenge; I think we have players with both physical and technical attributes but what we need to work with them on the tactical and psychological aspect. We need to rediscover our winning touch.”

Hey takes over from Johnny McKinstry, who was dismissed last year in August following a poor run of result. Hey, has previously managed Lesotho, Gambia and Libya.

The remaining matches of AFCON 2019 qualifiers will be played between March and November 2018. The winner of each group alongside the best three second-placed teams will qualify for the finals tournament to join hosts Cameroon.

Meanwhile, in the qualifications for CHAN 2018 Kenya, Amavubi will play against Tanzania in the second qualification round due in July. The first leg is scheduled to be played between July 14 -16 in Dar es Salaam before the return leg a week later in Kigali.

The winner between Rwanda and Tanzania will take on Uganda, who are the favourite to go past the winner between South Sudan and Somalia in the second round.

The second round winners will meet in the third round where only eventual winners will qualify to represent the Central and East Zone at next year’s edition, alongside hosts Kenya.

The CHAN tournament, which is reserved for players who feature in their respective domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged from January 11 to February 2.

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