National league champions APR Fc travel out today to Bujumbura, Burundi by road for a series of pre-season games as part of their preparations for the start of the new campaign.
While head coach Andy Mfutila has vowed to repeat last season’s success despite the club making an unprecedented changes to the playing staff.
The Congolese coach told Times Sport recently that though the club administrators preferred to limit the number of foreigners by axing some of the players, he is still committed to deliver his best in the coming season.
He said, “It was the club’s decision (to release some of the players) but that won’t stop us from winning major championships (locally, in the region and beyond).
The new players have already promised t do the job.”
“Though the new players are young, I’m convinced we shall win many trophies in the coming season,” Mfutila noted.
Adding that, “This is a kind of a youth development program which has been initiated and I think in two years, APR would be in a much stronger position to challenge for silverware not only in the region but even on the continent.”
APR’s young side defied odds by winning this year’s Lotto Cup last weekend beating rivals Rayon Sports 10-9 on spot kicks and their coach admitted, the youngsters couldn’t have asked for a better way to start their careers with the military side.
“Most of them (if not all) had never won any silverware with their former clubs but today (last weekend) they have added another prolific championship on their profile by winning this cup,” Mfutila said.
The likes of Jean Baptista Mugiraneza ‘Migi’ and Haruna Niyonzima were the influential in both APR’s victory over Atraco in the semifinal (5-4 on penalties) and Rayon.
The charismatic Congolese born coach started off his APR era with victory in the same competition last year and went on to win three more trophies including the Cecafa/Kagame Cup, Amahoro Cup and the national league.
Two weeks ago Mfutila and assistant Jean David Katotola extended their contract with the military side until 2009.
As part of their preparation for next season, the nine-time league champions will play against Burundi league champions Vital’O tomorrow before facing either Inter Stars on Sunday.
The club Secretary General, Maj. Alex Sabiti said yesterday that the training mission is aimed at enhancing the players’ fitness before starting the national football league next month.