AMAVUBI’s interim head coach Eric Nshimiyimana has urged the local football federation (Ferwafa) to engage the national team in more build-up games ahead of the 2011 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.
While on club duty with eleven-time national champions APR in Rubavu early this week, Nshimiyimana told Times Sport that engaging the youthful team will raise their competitive level as well as experience.
“I have brought it up with the federation because in my view, it is important that the team gets to play several games against strong opponents before the CHAN competition.”
“If this is adhered to, there is every chance that the team will improve,” Nshimiyimana said, adding that the team is expected to regroup twice a month to enable the coaching staff have a close assessment of the players.
Amavubi’s latest escapades ended in a 2-0 defeat against 2010 Africa Nations Cup (CAN) favourites Ivory Coast. The friendly which was staged in Tanzania was Ivory Coast’s final build-up to the CAN event which has seen the big guns stunned.
While Ivory Coast could only settle for a goalless draw, four-time African champions Cameroon and Nigeria suffered humiliating defeats in their opening games against Gabon (1-0) and Egypt (3-1).
The tournament, to be hosted in Sudan will run from January 21 to February 10 and with the Central Zone allotted two qualifying spots; Amavubi have to wrestle Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Tanzania and Eritrea for one of the slots.
Amavubi are desperate to make a mark in next year’s edition after missing out on last year’s edition following a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Sudan.
Rwanda will open their 2011 CHAN qualifying campaign against Eritrea. After playing away in the first leg (March 12-14), the wasps will host the return leg between March 26-28.
CHAN is a Caf competition played by home-based players. The preliminary round will take place in November and December and feature the likes of Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Djibouti and Somalia.
Caf has increased the number of participating teams to 16 from eight that took part in the inaugural event in 2009. Sudan qualified automatically as hosts of the tournament.
Countries hoping to play in Sudan will qualify from six zones.