Times Sports has unearthed stunning information that former Atraco Ugandan coach Sam Ssimbwa was approached to replace former APR Congolese coach Andy Mfutila.
However the source was quick to reveal that that approach didn’t materialise as APR recruited former Eritrean national football team coach Dutchman Rene Feller on a one year contract that expires in April 2009. When contacted in Kampala, Ssimbwa ruled out returning to Kigali to take charge of the military side.
The Ugandan born tactician was recently reportedly to have been in contact with the nine-time national league champions over a possible deal, according to Ugandan sports publication UgaSports.
Ssimbwa said that all that was speculative journalism; “Those were mere speculations and I challenged this media outlet which falsely linked me to APR”.
“I had only one contact with an APR top official last year who wanted me to succeed Andy Mfutila but it didn’t go far” Ssimbwa said.
Ssimbwa added that if there is a chance of taking charge of APR, he would definitely take it over because APR is big club in Africa.
Ssimbwa commonly known as Mourinho to his Rwandan fans guided Atraco to the first round of the African Confederation Cup in 2006/07 season.
He was shown the exit after Atraco lost 3-all goal aggregates to El Gaouafel Gafsa of Tunisia and since then his love for the taxi-men club has faded to the extent that he turned down an offer to return to the club this year before seconding Sam Timbe to take up the head coach post.
When contacted for comment APR’s president Brig. Gen Alex Kagame rebuffed Ssimbwa’s comment saying that he was unaware of any contact between APR and Ssimbwa.
Feller willing to extend APR stay
Rene Feller is willing to extend his contract with nine-time league champions APR when his one-year contract expires on April 1, 2009.
Feller who has only won Amahoro Cup for the military side in his one-year tenure told Times Sport yesterday that to stay or not to stay at APR will solely be based on his employers(APR).
“I have my respect and I do respect my contract with APR and before it’s finished I will be committed to the military side,”
“So it will depend on what we will discuss with my bosses before I know my future at APR,” Feller said.
Feller further added that has not got any offers from clubs or national teams willing to take him.
“I would prefer to teach local trainers soon after my career whether in Rwanda.”
“I would like to use my experience and knowledge to offer assistance to local trainers especially here in Rwanda,” Feller said.
This season, the 65-year-old tactician has lifted APR to the top of the league table where they share same points with league champions Atraco. Both clubs stand on 24 points in 11 fixtures played this season.
Dutch coach Feller joined APR on a one-year contract, just five months after being appointed national coach of Eritrea.
The 65-year-old took over as the coach as the army side was seeking to retain their title in the Cecafa club championship but a rough exit in the quarter-final stage was only farthest stage they could manage.
The Rwandan side crashed out of the Champions League in the first round with a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Egyptian side Zamalek earlier in the year.
Feller has also previously worked in Kuwait.