Atraco vs Rayon 3pm
Mukura vs APR 5pm
Third place play-off 3pm
Jean Marie Ntagwabira wants to make the Kigali City Council Centenary football tournament his first silverware as Atraco coach.
However, to achieve that, the ex-APR trainer would have to overcome two of his team’s biggest rivals in Rayon Sports and the winner between APR and Mukura.
The four-team tournament gets underway today with the preliminary matches when Mukura battles APR and that game would be preceded by Atraco against Rayon, with the finals listed for Sunday at Amahoro stadium.
In his second season since replacing Sam Ssimbwa, Ntagwabira is yet to win anything but confident about his new-look side’s chances of lifting the trophy and cashing in on the Frw10 cheque top prize.
“I want that ten (Frw10) million,” the former Rwandan international vowed before adding, “It would be good for us to start the season with something (trophy and cash) in store for”.
It’s hard to predict which of the four teams would win the tournament considering the fact that all of them have so many new players.
But still, each coach would want to use this occasion to try out his players and I can see each one of them putting out his strongest possible eleven, which can only be good for the fans and organizers.
We saw it in the Lotto Cup, which APR’s youthful side won and deservedly so—the only difference this time is that there is more at stake, so we should expect to see some competitive stuff on the pitch out there.
Apart from the injured Patrick Mafisango, Ntagwabira has a full squad choose from but he expects a full-bloodied challenge form his opponents.
“Mafisango won’t feature for this tournament as he recovers but he’ll certainly be back in the picture for the start of the season,” he noted.
There are no injury concerns in the squad and Ntagwabira said, “The spirit is really high.
“Everyone’s motivated for the game and there is a sense of anticipation there. We are out to win the top prize”.
However, as Ntagwabira aims to swap for the top prize, his opposite number for today’s game, Thierry Hitimana has his own ideas.
“It goes without saying that each team would want to win this tournament and Rayon is no exception,” Hitimana after taking his team through Wednesday evening training session at their training ground in Rugunga.
He added, “Every team including us, has so many new players so, it’s not going to be easy for any side. Each team can win it but we (Rayon) are certainly going for the top prize”.
Rayon did a double over Atraco in the league last season and it’s going to be interesting to find out whether history would repeat itself or otherwise.
APR’s youngsters, who have been in residential training camp in Gisenyi for the last couple of weeks, would be seen by many as favorite to win this tournament.
The winner will walk away with Frw10m cheque, the first runner-up Frw5 millions, the third Frw2.5m and the fourth Frw1.25m.