NAIROBI – Interim coach Eric Nshimiyimana has expressed his interest in taking the Amavubi Stars coaching job on a full time basis.
After seeing his star rise following his appointment to replace Branko Tucak in an acting capacity barely a month ago, the former Amavubi Stars captain has grown huge for the job.
The AS Kigali head coach has not done his case any injustice by not only steering the wasps to the finals of this year’s Orange Cecafa Challenge Cup but also building a well organized team around a squad of young and inexperienced players.
During Tucak’s ill-fated regime, scoring goals was more like a taboo and playing well as a unit almost non-existent but in a just a short stint under Nshimiyimana, the team is playing probably the best football in years and the goals have started following despite not having sharp strikers.
Asked during a press conference after the quarterfinal win over Zimbabwe whether he would fancy taking the job full time, Nshimiyimana’s reply left so little for imagination about his intentions. He said, “Obviously yes, why not.”
“When I was given the opportunity to bring the team here (for Cecafa), I think it was a sign that they (Ferwafa) had confidence in me and my ability to do the job and if the job I have so far done convinces them to give me the job on a full time basis, I would gladly take it,” he admitted.
Few would be shocked to hear that kind of statement from a man who has had the chance to learn his coaching trade from working closely with the team’s last three head coaches including Michael Nees, Josip Kuze and Tucak.
He also worked under Jean Ntagwabira at APR for some time.
To push further his case, he said, “I have played football at a high level for both club and country and as a coach, I have worked for my budges, so I think I’m well equipped to take up the job on a permanent basis.”
“All coaches are more or less the same but the problem in Africa is that football administrators tend to have more respect for a white coach, which makes it look like we are incapable for the jobs.
“I have worked with them (white coaches) in the past but I haven’t seen anything special they bring in training other than the usual stuff that any coach regardless of color does. So, I think it’s a question of perception that we’re not given the opportunity to handle our own teams,” the soft spoken Nshimiyimana explained.
The 39-year-old former APR and Kiyovu towering midfielder was part of the Rwandan team that made their debut at the Nations Cup in 2004.
He is also the only member from that team, who took up coaching after hanging up his playing boots about five years ago.
His experimental youthful side has caught the eye of almost everyone at the 33rd edition of Cecafa tournament with their good passing game and organized play, which leaves them a game away from winning their second Cecafa title.
Should he be entrusted with the task, he will become the first local coach in recent years after a series of foreign coaches ranging from Ratomir Djuckovic, Roger Palmegren, Michael Nees, Josip Kuze and most recently Branko Tucak.