Atraco vs Simba
URA vs Sofapaka
ALTHOUGH Atraco is fielding a fairly new squad from the one that won last year’s Kagame Cup in Sudan, Sam Timbe believes the team has the knack to retain the most prized club trophy in the region.
The taxi-men side opens its title defense this afternoon against Tanzania’s Simba at Nyamirambo’s Regional stadium and while Timbe concedes that the team is drawn in the toughest group (C) of the tournament, he is unbending at the fact that the team can go on to rewrite history as the first Rwandan club to retain the title.
“We are in a tough group but I have enormous confidence in this crop of players and it will not surprise me if they become the first local club to retain the trophy,” he said.
The Ugandan tactician also said that he has a good record against the Tanzanian club.
“I have never lost to them during my coaching career so at least history is in my favour,” the 50-year-old joked.
Despite falling short of a treble; the taxi men side still had a fruitful season by their standards after winning a double; Kagame Cup and MTN Peace Cup but the side has seen an exodus of their experienced players in Peter Kagabo, Jean Shyaka, Joseph Kabagambe, Jean Luc Ndayishimiye alias Bakame and Aloua Gaseruka among others.
In the other day’s Group C match, two-time finalists Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) clash with Kenyan Champions Sofapaka.
URA coach Alex Isabirye told Ugandan media that he is banking on the experience among his players to put up a good show. Midfielder Mike Sserumaga and Augustine Nsumba have had professional spells in Europe while journey-man Jimmy Kidega has featured in Rwanda and Kenya leagues.
Captain Manko Kaweesa, Sam Mubiru, Ismail Kigozi have also sampled continental football with URA while Patrick Ssenfuka and Sam Ssenoga impressed while still at KCC during the 2008/9 Caf champions league.
“We have a good blend of youth and experience, and that counts alot,” said Isabirye.