After putting pen to paper on a one-year contract with 13-time league champions APR, German-born coach Andreas Spiers is optimistic on guiding the military side to the Turbo King league and Peace Cup trophies this season.
Spier signed the one-year contract on Monday evening after a lenghthy week of negotiations with APR club management which is reported to have forced the coach to abscond holding training with the club.
Spier who took over from current Amavubi coach Eric Nshimiyimana last season was yet to get a legal contract with the military side after helping the side to a third-place finish and runner-ups in the Cecafa/Kagame Cup title held in Sudan.
“I am happy and optimistic on leading APR to greater heights this season. When you manage APR, the targets are always high and my tenure is no different to the previous,” Spier said before adding, “We have a young team made up of good Rwandan players and our focus is to win the Turbo King league and Peace Cup. We will face opposition from Police, Rayon Sports and Mukura but I am sure my players will do the best to ensure that APR wins silverware this season,” added Spier. He came to Rwanda in 2008 and the following year, he was put in charge of the women national team. A year later, he was appointed the head coach of APR football academy which later changed its name to Intare FC and featured in the second division league.
The club was later abandoned as APR management changed their foreign policy to opt for young Rwandan players. Most of the players, who featured in Intare, were promoted to APR senior team. They include; Nova Bayama, Barnabe Mubumbyi, Yannick Mukunzi and Maxime Sekamana. He took over APR FC reigns in March this year when the military side suffered one of their heaviest defeats to arch rivals Rayon Sports in the Primus League.
The 13-times league champions were hammered 4-0 following their preliminary round exit from the Africa Champions League by Burundian side Vital’O FC. The defeat to Rayon Sports was not only their first loss with such a huge margin in local football but also the first time they had lost two league matches in a row in recent history, having been beaten 1-0 by Mukura the previous week. The defeat was the highlight of a trophy-less season for the military side.
Ready to turn the tables
Spier being handed a new contract comes a few weeks after former Rwanda U-17 and Isonga tactician Vincent Mashami was named as the APR FC assistant coach.
Mashami, who is currently undergoing a refresher course with England’s Nottingham Forest football club, will assist the German head coach.
The former U-17 national team assistant coach is expected to return to the country next week to take up his new responsibilities. The 13-time league champion APR started the 2013/14 Turbo King league quest on a successful note thrashing Marines 6-2 and a 2-0 win over Esperance to top the standings with six points. On Saturday, APR will host Peace Cup winners AS Kigali in one of the challenging ties of the season at Stade de Kigali. This will be a hard test for Spier who on the verge of signing a new contract must not let AS Kigali ruin his happiness.
In other matches; Marines will host Espoir at Umuganda stadium; Esperance play host to Amagaju in Nyamagabe; Gicumbi play away to Yaounde Gilbert Kanyankole’s SC Kiyovu at Mumena stadium while Mukura will host Etincelles at Kamena grounds on Saturday. On Sunday, defending champions Rayon Sports face AS Muhanga at Stade de Kigali while Musanze will play away to Police at Kicukiro turf.