Mukura vs Police FC 3:30pm
Marines vs Bugesera
Musanze vs SC Kiyovu
Marines FC head coach Abdul Karim ‘Coka’ Nduhirabandi has urged the club to change the way they think about the team moving forward.
The Rubavu-based league side are third from bottom of the 16-team table standing with just 18 points after 5 victories, 3 draws and 11 defeats this season.
However, they are just five points above the relegation zone and defeat on Sunday (today) against Bugesera FC at Umuganda Stadium, would further increase pressure on the coach and players.
“To coach Marines requires mental toughness,” Nduhirabandi told Sunday Sport, adding that, “we make slow starts every season because we fail to hold onto our good players every year. This is not good for a club that not only wants to stay in the top division but finish high up on the table.”
Last season, Marines lost eight first team players including first choice goalkeeper Gahungu Habarurema to Sunrise FC and failed to sign suitable replacements, something that meant that the team started the current season with a disadvantage on their rivals.
The club’s major signing was former Police and AS Kigali striker Jimmy Mbaraga during the January transfer window and they also promoted two players; Christophe Biramahire and Olivier Usabimana from second division side, Interforce FC.
Nduhirabandi added that, “The club needs to change its philosophy because for the coach it is so stressing and nerve-racking to build a new team with new players every year. Other teams have reinforcement structures, which we don’t have here.”
Nduhirabandi gave Bugesera FC, their next opponents, as one example under which Marines should be modeled on.
“Look at what clubs like Bugesera FC have achieved because of having a progressive philosophy—we (Marines) need to learn from how it’s done elsewhere if we’re move forward, leave alone stay in the topflight division longer,” he said.
Coach Vincent Mashami’s Nyamata-based Bugesera FC, in their second season in the national league, are flying in fifth place with 31 points, three points off the top four.
In other matches on Sunday, third place Police FC have a tricky away clash against 13th-placed Mukura Victory Sports at Huye Stadium, while Musanze FC, in sixth place with 30 points, entertain 12th-placed SC Kiyovu at Stade Musanze.