Tomislav Obradovic has been named the Amavubi Stars head coach, replacing his compatriot Josip Kuze.
Kuze, shocked local football fraternity by resigning just three months since he took over, replacing the sacked Michael Nees.
Tomislav’s new position was announced by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport in joint press conference with Ferwafa held on Wednesday at the ministry headquarters in Remera.
Sport Minister Joseph Habineza confirmed that Tomislav will combine his new role with the U-20 coaching job he is already holding.
“This won’t be a big task for him because it’s the same young players who have been composing the senior team that he will be in charge of.
“He will continue to be assisted like it has been with Kuze. Jean Marie Ntagwabira and Antoinne Rutsindura for the senior team while Eric Nshimiyimana and Claude Ishimwe for the junior team respectively,” Habineza said.
Habineza is confident that with Tomislav, Rwanda’s ambitions of making it to the 2010 Nations’ Cup finals in Angola still remain as high as before.
Croatian coach Kuze quit the Amavubi team to take over Japanese-League side JEF United Chiba.
Kuze signed a three-year contract with the Japanese side reportedly worth around $400,000 dollars per season.
The 55-year-old, who replaced Nees last October, led the Amavubi in six matches, where they managed four victories, one defeat and one draw.
According to Habineza, Kuze offered to act as players’ agent for Rwanda’s youthful players in Japan and Asia as a whole.
Kuze would also organize some training missions for Amavubi Stars ahead of the preparations for the 2010 World and African Cup qualifiers.
The former Dynamo Zagreb coach Kuze signed a two-year contract deal in October last year to guide the Amavubi Stars to the 2010 African Nations Cup finals.
Kuze’s departure comes as a shock to many after helping Rwanda finish second at last year’s GTV Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Kuze has been the second coach from former Yugoslavia federation to take charge of the Rwandan national team.
His predecessor, Serb Ratomir Dujkovic left a huge impact in Rwanda after leading the team to its maiden appearance at the African Nations Cup in 2004 and he later led Ghana to the second round of World Cup 2006 in Germany where they lost to Brazil.
The Amavubi Stars finished third in their qualifying group, nine points behind Cameroon in the 2008 CAN Ghana qualifiers last year.
Ferwafa decided against renewing Nees’ contract on the grounds that he had failed to perform to his best in the year that he had been in charge of the national team moved in on Kuze a move that surprised many in the western capitals.
Nees had signed a one-year contract in 2006, and he guided Rwanda to third place at the 2006 Cecafa Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
Rwanda qualified for the 2004 Africa Nations Cup finals in Tunisia, but missed out on the 2006 and 2008 editions respectively.