Recently the national football team, Amavubi Stars was in Morocco for a training camp as they intensify preparations for their next competitive matches against Libya in 2018 World Cup qualifier as well as the 2016 African Nations Championship to be hosted in Rwanda from January 16 up to February 7.
It is an important sporting philosophy for a coach to have technical preparations in the same geographical area as the opponent.
In sport just like in any battle, it’s a grave mistake to face an opponent without prior knowledge of his technical and physical approach. Morocco and Libya are not separated much geographically; you can therefore access advance information concerning the Libya football team.
Amavubi Stars head coach Johnny McKinstry has shown a good mind-set in remodeling the national team based on important decisions and changes that he has made since he took charge.
The decision to tie down his assistant Vincent Mashami and goalkeeper coach Ibrahim Mugisha on permanent contracts was a very important decision to begin with as it’s an obligation for the national team to have permanent technical staff.
McKinstry had already worked with two coaches before they signed permanent contracts last month and could have discovered potential in them to help the team improve.
The three men have worked together in the previous two 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Mozambique and Ghana where the team performed admirably well in both games, winning one and lost the other.
Rwanda has already grabbed maximum three points from Mozambique away from home and lost narrowly to the Black Stars of Ghana after a late free-kick from Mubarak Wakaso denied the home side a deserved point.
Against Ghana, Amavubi Stars were well organized on all fronts but the striking line.
Player per player; nearly all Rwandan players were selected from local and regional football clubs. Only two central defenders, Emery Bayisenge and Solomon Nirisarike ply their trade in lower divisions in Austria and Belgium respectively.
(Bayisenge has since returned to APR FC after unsuccessful trials with Austria second division side Lask Linz FC - editor).
The difference in class, experience or professional levels from Ghana players were not manifested practically when the two sides faced off in Kigali. Amavubi players looked strong and well-coordinated.
Good coordination is one of the efficient tactical manifestations from the coach.
Taking a look at the possible outcome from the group; Ghana will be hard to beat in the group and will most likely qualify as group leaders. But Rwanda beat both Mauritius and Mozambique to the second automatic qualification spot.
Amavubi’s biggest weakness is the lack of natural goal scorers. To qualify for major tournaments, you need to win more than you lose and to win matches, you need to score goals, because goals win matches, which is why Rwanda has struggled to return to the AFCON finals tournament because they don’t have enough goal scorers in the team.
At the moment there is not a single promising young striker coming through—it’s a worrying situation given that it’s an open secret that Amavubi needs a striker or two or even scoring midfielder, who can take on future scoring responsibilities.