Rwanda national football team head coach Antoine Hey has revealed that he will use only local players in the forthcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup tournament, which is scheduled for December 3-17 in Kenya.
Initially, the 2017 Challenge Cup was supposed to be held in November 25 to December 9 but organisers moved to another date and consequently, Amavubi will enter in the camp on Nov. 26 instead Nov. 19 as originally was planned by Hey.
“We will not use professional players at the Challenge Cup as we need to look at the home-based players as we prepare for CHAN finals. We are happy to qualify (for CHAN 2018) but we need to build a positive side that will not just go to Morocco to make numbers,” Hey told Saturday Sport.
The German added that, “We have to look at what is best for us as we preparations for CHAN, so we have decided to use only local players.”
Rwanda has been drawn in Group A of the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup along with hosts Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and guest side Libya, who are also preparing for the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco.
Hey admits that the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup will be good test for the local players who will be seeking to impress in order to be selected on the final team for CHAN finals.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has been put in Pot 3 for the African Nations Championship Morocco 2018, Amavubi are alongside Congo Brazzaville, Sudan and Uganda.
The four Pots consisting the 16 qualified teams were decided on the basis of ranking.
Pot 1 has Morocco (host), Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya; Pot 2 comprises Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, Zambia while Pot 4 includes; Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Namibia.
The CHAN tournament will run from January 12 to February 4. Casablanca will host Group A, Marrakech host Group B, Tangier will have Group C and Agadir with Group D.
The opening match and the final will be played at the newly refurbished Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca, which also hosted the second leg of this year’s CAF Champions League final.