Amiss Cedric: My uphill journey to stardom

Last season’s National Football League best player and top scorer Amiss Cedric has become an iconic player for his club, Rayon Sports.
Amiss Cedric scored goals for fun last season and in one game (above) he even attempted a 'hand of god' goal against Kiyovu. Saturday Sport/ P. Muzogeye.
Amiss Cedric scored goals for fun last season and in one game (above) he even attempted a 'hand of god' goal against Kiyovu. Saturday Sport/ P. Muzogeye.

Last season’s National Football League best player and top scorer Amiss Cedric has become an iconic player for his club, Rayon Sports.

The Burundian international thanks the club for giving him an opportunity to shine.

A scorer of 16 league goals in 13 matches, Amiss set a new record for the highest number of goals scored by a player signed in mid season. He joined Rayon in January and went on to better the previous record set by Labama Bokota Kamana, who scored 14 also for Rayon Sports in 2007.

However, despite becoming the hottest property in Rwandan local football, the soft spoken striker is determined to keep his feet on the ground since, he has, in his words, “not yet achieved my dream.”

His overriding dream, just like any other ambitious footballer, is to play at the professional level and says he won’t give up until he has achieved it. But first, he admits that he has to keep winning with Rayon Sports.

Amiss Cedric was born in 1990 in Bujumbura, Burundi to Amissi Mathias and Asina Saidi. The 23-year-old has two brothers.

Their father passed away 11 years ago. His mother lives in Bujumbura. Amissi is not yet married but has a three and half months’ old son Razack Ishema.

Amiss attended Ecole Primaire Buyenzi in Bujumbura before joining ETEC for his Secondary school studies but dropped out of school after completing his ordinary level to concentrate on his football career.

Among the people Amiss takes his inspiration from, is a one Djuma Hakizimana, the former president of Inyange FC, a Burundian second division side.

The former Prince Louis Rwagasore FC forward said his role model is  Ronaldo (Louis Nazario da Lima).

The former Brazilian international Ronaldo is the Fifa World Cup all-time top goal scorer and played for the biggest clubs in Europe including Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Early days

Talking to Saturday Sport on Wednesday after the team’s morning training session at their base in Nyanza, the Rayon Sports forward, who turned 23, three months ago, revealed he has never tried any other sport since his childhood apart from football. To him, football is everything.

He said, “I have played football ever since I can remember, I have never tried any other sport like most young kids either at school or at home, for me it has always been football.”

The versatile striker, who can also play on the wings, played for both his primary and secondary school teams, mostly as a right winger (No 7) but as he matured, and started playing ‘professional’ football in 2006 as a striker at his first club.

In 2006, the then 16-year-old high school raw talent was spotted by Burundi’s second division league side Inyange FC and he finished as the best player and top scorer for the 2006/2007 season.

Professional career

After one season at Inyange FC, Amiss joined Burundi’s top flight division side Elite FC in 2007 and the next season, he signed for Prince Louis Rwagasore FC in 2008 where he spent four seasons until he crossed to join Rayon Sports in January this year.

For the five seasons he played for both Elite and Prince Louis FC in Burundian top flight division, Amiss never won the league title but was awarded the best player and top scorer of the season 2011/2012. He came to Rayon and became an instant hit on the pitch and hero in the stands.

Achievements

Best player and top scorer in 2007 with Inyange FC in the Burundian second division league and in 2012 with Prince Louis FC in top flight division.

He was recently named best player and top scorer in his debut half season in the Rwandan national football league for the 2012/13 after guiding Rayon to the league crown, their first in eight attempts.

The dark-skinned striker looks quite shy off the field but on pitch he is an aggressive goal scoring machine. He scores as well as  creates assists for his team mates.

In less than one full season, having joined the club mid last season, Amiss has won three trophies including the league title, the Rwanda Football Media cup and the inaugural 1994 Genocide against Tutsi memorial tournament title.

Amiss also broke the record that was set by former Rayon Sports striker Bogota in the season of 2007/2008 scoring 14 goals in the second round of the national football league, by finding the back of net 16 times in 13 league matches.

The talented footballer has been a Burundian international with ‘Intamba mu Rugamba’ since 2009, the year he was first named in the senior team, but the previous year, 2008 the then 18-year old featured for the junior national team.

He has played in three Cecafa Senior Challenge cup tournaments and a handful of Africa Nations Cup qualifiers. However, he has not been called to the national team since crossing to Rwanda, despite his outstanding form with the Rwandan champions.

Amiss happy at Rayon

The player, whose contract expires at the end of the current 2013/2014 season, says he is very happy at Rayon Sports and wants to win more trophies with the club.

He says, “My contract ends at the end of the season and if the club wants to offer me a new deal, we shall sit down and talk.  I am very open with them, they know that. I want to play for Rayon Sports for as long they still want and I am happy.”

On furthering his career somewhere else, his response was a typical one, “Of course I would love to play at the higher professional level, it’s my dream, but first I have to be successful with Rayon Sports.”

“My wish is to play in the French Ligue 1,” confessed the reigning best payer of the year.

Secret behind success


Rayon Sports’ lead striker admits, “Behaving well on and off the field is vital for a footballer to become successful, you have to respect team mates, coaches and training schedules.”

“I missed one match against Isonga FC last season’s second round because I had accumulated two yellow cards since then I have never been sent off or miss a match because of suspension.

“As a player, you need to make yourself available for team selection all the time, unless you’re injured and you’re playing every match, you get more confidence and not fear to try out any trick on the field,” he says.

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