The appointment of Milutin Micho Sredejovic as the new head coach of the Amavubi senior side has come with high expectations. As the Serb takes on his new responsibilities, he faces an uphill task of reviving the national team’s fortunes.
In 2004, the team made history with that maiden qualification to the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
However, most of the players disappeared immediately after, and it has been mixed fortunes since.
Coaches have come and gone without achieving any real success.
So far three qualification campaigns have passed, and Rwanda has tried to relive the 2004 success in vain. Fans don’t want to see this extend any further.
The success of 2004 has not served as an inspiration to greater heights. But that is now in the past; we have to look forward.
From experience, it is clear that Rwanda can easily become a powerhouse provided it employs the right strategies to nurture and make good use of our talent. We were reminded of that potential, yet again, during the recent U-17 World Cup campaign.
It is important for local football administrators to build on that potential to help turn a new page. As such it is unacceptable that members of the former U-17 team (now U-20 side) are not taking part in the national league following a haphazard decision by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to prohibit clubs from drafting them.
This was an ill-advised decision that could only backfire, with dire consequences that could stagnate the youngsters’ development. It needs to be rescinded as soon as possible.
Nonetheless, it is important that the country carries on with the philosophy of youth football to create the necessary depth for sustained success. But to achieve that, everyone will need to pull towards the same goal: raising the country’s flag high.