Kagere on why he joined Rayon Sports and his biggest dream

Until three years ago, the name Meddie Kagere didn’t sound so familiar to many Rwandans apart from the ardent local football followers. However, going into the 2013/14 football season, not many would claim not to recognise Rayon Sports’ new signing.
Meddie Kagere tries an audacious chip over Benin keeper during a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier at Amahoro stadium. Times Sport / File.
Meddie Kagere tries an audacious chip over Benin keeper during a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier at Amahoro stadium. Times Sport / File.

Until three years ago, the name Meddie Kagere didn’t sound so familiar to many Rwandans apart from the ardent local football followers. However, going into the 2013/14 football season, not many would claim not to recognise Rayon Sports’ new signing.

Born in Uganda 27 years ago to Hajji Muhamad Kagere and Rehmah Kagere in a family of eight, the Rwandan international is currently one of the most prominent football players in the country.

“I feel at home here, I wish you knew how much I love this country,” Kagere told Saturday Sport in a soft tone.

Kagere started playing football at an early age at Kibuli primary school in the Ugandan capital Kampala, and it’s from that stage that he realised he had the talent to become a top player.

He says, “I was motivated by the older guys in secondary school who we used to watch play and admired so much. I loved football from a tender age, whenever the secondary school team played and won, I would pray that one day I get the chance to play with them.”

As a child, Kagere was treated like a treasure by his parents. “My parents treated me like a treasure, and they were always there to listen to and advise me in all situations, they took me to good schools and encouraged me in my career as a footballer; I’m very blessed to have them.”
 
New challenge

The striker made his breakthrough in top-flight football in 2004 with Ugandan league side Mbale Heroes until 2006 when he joined Rwanda’s Atraco FC under Ugandan coach Sam Ssimbwa (now Police FC coach) where he played for only four months.

From Atraco, he joined Kiyovu for one year (2007-2008) and then Mukura (2008-2009) before signing for Police FC in 2010-2012.

He then went pro, featuring for Tunisia’s Esperance de Zarzis albeit for half a season, before returning to Police (2012-2013).

This week, Kagere signed a two-year contract with champions Rayon Sports.

“I am happy to join Rayon Sports. They are the defending champions and I am here to help them win more trophies. It is the best team in the country anyone would wish to join,” Kagere said.

He added, “This is the biggest club in Rwanda, with the biggest fan base and I am looking forward to playing in front of such passionate fans.”

His new coach Didier Gomez da Rosa says he is looking forward to working with the Amavubi Stars main striker. “We are happy to have him in our team, he is determined and focused, we will help him to improve further.”

Rayon Sports have a tough and busy season ahead of them, during which the club will also represent Rwanda not only in next year’s CAF Champions League but also in the Cecafa/Kagame Cup.

Kagere, who has never played in Africa’s biggest club competition, is excited at the prospect of playing against some of Africa’s top players.

On pro dream


“I came here (Rayon) to win trophies and also to have the opportunity to play in the Champions League. It’s a competition I have always wanted to play in,” he noted.

Asked what keeps him going, he said, “The belief that hard work pays and believing in myself that I can deliver.”

“To me that is the number one motivation any player needs, people can’t believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself and I will do everything in my capacity to help Rayon Sports retain the league title and do well in Champions League,” explained the former Police FC captain.

But he still has ambitions for professional football. “Like any other ambitious player, I still dream of playing professional football and I hope I will achieve it.”

The star is married to Nasra Kagere, a businesswoman, and the two have a two and half year old son (Nasri Kagere).

Kagere, who scored 38 goals for Police FC in three seasons, is expected to make his Rayon debut on Saturday against Gicumbi FC at Amahoro national stadium in the opening fixture of the 2013/14 league season.

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