AFTER a successful season where they finished second in the Primus League and also reached the semi-finals of the MTN Peace Cup, Etincelles Fc have gone on a massive spending spree that has seen them bring in 11 new players.
The club from Western Province sent shock waves last season when, after promotion to the top flight, they embarked on a good campaign that saw them win twelve out of the 22 leagues, including wins over Rayon Sports, Atraco and Kiyovu.
For finishing second in the league behind champions APR, Etincelles earned the right to represent Rwanda in next year’s Caf Confederations Cup as well as the Cecafa/Kagame Cup.
Those two competitions and the demands for competing favorably in local competition including the Primus League and Peace Cup required that the club build a squad strong enough to weather what will no doubt be the most demanding season in the club’s long history.
As the start of the new season gets closer, Etincelles’s head coach, Abdul Bizimana told Times Sport yesterday that his team went on the massive shopping spree in order to buttress themselves for what is destined to be a tough season.
“We shall play in four different competitions this season including the Confederations Cup, Kagame Cup, Primus League and Peace Cup.
“So we needed to put together a big and strong squad that will be able to cope with such demands,” said the 40-year-old.
Etincelles’s new recruits include; goalkeepers Charles Hakizimana and Eric Kazumba from Atraco and Bukavu Dawa respectively, striker Ronald Lubega (Simba-Uganda), right-backs Yahya Serubungo and Hussein Tuyisenge from Atraco and AS Kigali respectively, defender Yahya Ndikuriyo (Vital O).
Others include midfielders Olivier Manzi (Marines), Silvani Ochea (S.C Villa), Rendy Assumani (Marines), Charles Macali (Vital O-Burundi) and Joseph Mukambo (Marines).
But Bizimana also confirmed that he is still on the lookout for a striker and central defender.
“I will bring in two more players; a striker and a defender. Some of the players that don’t measure up will be released. We need to challenge on all fronts and that requires quality in the squad,” Bizimana stressed.
Team needs Frw100 m
Meanwhile, the Etincelles’ club president, Adam Uwimana told this paper that the club has put together a Frw100 m budget for next season, for which the district of Rubavu will provide the biggest portion.
“As has been the case in the past, the district will raise the biggest chunk of our budget, but we are also exploring ways of finding other sponsorship deals for the club.
“Of course we are aware of how Atraco and Electrogaz ran bankrupt, so we will be careful about how the club is run,” Uwimana said.