Second division side Isonga FC have withdrawn from competing in Rwanda Football Association (FERWAFA) competitions so as to focus on operating as a football academy, which was their original intention when the team was first started in 2011.
Isonga FC started with the pool of players that participated in Africa U17 Youth Championships held in Rwanda and later at the World Cup finals tournament in Mexico, in order for the country to have a large pool of young players to feed the big clubs.
The club chairman Gregoire Muramira confirmed that they have quit all FERWAFA competitions to concentrate on developing more young players.
The youthful side has been in FERWAFA competitions for the last six years—last season Isonga qualified to the topflight division but eventually withdrew, which handed SC Kiyovu a second chance to stay in the Azam Rwanda Premier League despite being relegated at the end of last season.
“Our objective is to develop young players, so we have decided to put aside FERWAFA competitions, so as we go back to our original mission, working as academy,” Muramira told Times Sport.
He added; “Isonga FC’s aim is to scout and nurture many young players, who are the future of Rwanda. We are not a competitive team, so instead of wasting resources on playing in FERWAFA competitions, its better we focused on identifying young talented players and give them chance to play at high level.”
The club, which forms the core part of the U-17 national team, will soon start the process of recruiting new players from local academies and talent detection centers across the country.
Isonga FC was founded in 2011 as a composition of players, who played in the U-17 African Youth Championships and the FIFA World Cup. The team was promoted to the U-20 level and registered to play in the national league without going through the second division.
Under, Eric Nshimiyimana, they finished in sixth position in their debut season in the 2011/12 season but failed to maintain that impressive form at the next campaign, which saw them relegated to the second-tier league.