New look Amavubi impress Niyonzima

Amavubi captain Haruna Niyonzima is impressed with the ‘new look’ national side that will face Zambia in an international friendly tomorrow at the National Heroes stadium in Lusaka.
Amavubi players in their last training session yesterday before they left for Zambia ahead of the clash with Chipolopolo. (Sam Ngendahimana)
Amavubi players in their last training session yesterday before they left for Zambia ahead of the clash with Chipolopolo. (Sam Ngendahimana)

Sunday (International Friendly)

Zambia vs Rwanda 4pm

Amavubi captain Haruna Niyonzima is impressed with the ‘new look’ national side that will face Zambia in an international friendly tomorrow at the National Heroes stadium in Lusaka.

The midfield maestro, who took part his first training session under newly appointed head coach Johnny McKinstry on Friday morning, hailed the fresh young faces in the Amavubi fold, including his nephew Djihad Bizimana, who has quickly earned plaudits for his football intelligence and ability to win the ball and dispatch it with vision in midfield.

“The composition of the team is good with a mixture of youth and experience. It is something that bodes well for the national team as the 2016 CHAN tournament draws closer,” Niyonzima said.

McKinstry has included other youngsters like the striking duo of Bertrand Iradukunda and Isaie Songa who will be making his Amavubi debut.

Songa, currently the national football league top scorer with nine goals, is excited at his first call up and hopes to perform well and possibly score his first international goal against the Chipolopolo.

Niyonzima said, “These players are young and do not have a lot of experience but we have to believe in them. We have to listen to what the coach tells us because only then shall we perform the way he envisions us to.”

Meanwhile, McKinstry has hailed the players for quickly adapting to his new style of play that has gotten them excited and yearning to execute against a strong Chipolopolo side that will be playing at home.

“It’s been a very good week in the training camp. The players have been working very hard and have been very open to some new ideas. We’ve tried to change one or two things of how the team plays to make us a better team in the long run and, like I said earlier this week, that is not easy. It does not happen straight away but I have been very impressed with them.”

The team flew out last night aboard RwandAir and will have a light training session at the venue this morning before tomorrow’s game at 4pm.

Goalkeepers: Olivier Kwizera, Eric Ndayishimiye.

Defenders: Ismail Nshutiyamagara, Emery Bayisenge, Michel Rusheshangoga, Fitina Ombolenga, James Tubane.

Midfielders: Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Rachid Kalisa, Justin Mico, Patrick Sibomana, Jean Claude Iranzi, Djihad Bizimana, Yannick Mukunzi, Haruna Niyonzima, Janvier Mutijima.

Strikers: Bertrand Iradukunda, Songa Isaie.

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