Rwanda national team head coach Antoine Hey has named APR’s Fitina Omborenga and Ally Mbogo of SC Kiyovu in the 23-man squad for the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup scheduled for December 3-17 in Kenya.
The German tactician named the squad on Friday—the team is dominated by players from reigning league champions Rayon Sports and Peace Cup holders APR FC.
Amavubi enter residential camp on Saturday at La Palisse Hotel in Nyamata with players from clubs are not in league action while the rest will join camp on Sunday following the climax of match-day 8 of the Azam Rwanda Premier League.
Rwanda has been handed a daunting task against hosts Kenya in the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Group A, which also has Tanzania, Zanzibar and guest side Libya, who are preparing for the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco, where Amavubi will also be. Amavubi will face the hosts in the opening match.
Defending champions, Uganda have been placed in Group B alongside Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia and another guest nation, Zimbabwe.
After the opening day, Rwanda will next face Zanzibar on Dec. 5; take on Libya on December 7 before concluding the group stage action with a date against Tanzania on December 9.
Rwanda will use the regional tournament as part of their preparations for next year’s Africa Nations Championship, which will run from January 12 through February 4.
The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup will be a good test for the Rwandan local players who will be seeking to impress in order to be selected on the final team for CHAN finals.
Apart from SC Kiyovu’s centre back Ally Mbogo, who will be making his debut for Rwanda, the rest of the summoned players are familiar faces who were banked on during the preparations for the recent CHAN qualifiers against Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia respectively.
APR right-back Omborenga joins Hey’s squad after ending his Slovakia professional stint and will be a big boost in the defence.
Rwanda won the regional tournament in 1999 after beating 3-1 Kenya in the final at Amahoro National Stadium.
Last year, CECAFA failed to stage its two main annual competitions—the Senior Challenge Cup and Kagame Club Championship.
Full 23-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Yves Kimenyi (APR Fc), Marcel Nzarora (Police Fc) and Eric Ndayishimiye (Rayon Sports Fc)
Defenders: Herve Rugwiro (APR Fc), Fitina Omborenga (APR Fc), Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Thierry Manzi (Rayon Sports), Faustin Usengimana (Rayon Sports), Eric Rutanga (Rayon Sports), Soter Kayumba (AS Kigali), Eric Iradukunda (AS Kigali) and Ally Mbogo (SC Kiyovu).
Midfielders: Djihad Bizimana (APR Fc), Muhadjir Hakizimana (APR Fc), Amran Nshimiyimana (APR Fc), Yannick Mukunzi (Rayon Sports), Djabel Manishimwe (Rayon Sports), Ally Niyonzima (AS Kigali) and Olivier Niyonzima (Rayon Sports).
Forwards: Innocent Nshuti (APR Fc), Sekamana Maxime (APR Fc), Justin Mico (Police Fc), and Abeddy Biramahire (Police Fc).