Feller concerned with thin squad
Young African’s head coach, Dusan Kondic is frustrated that this year’s Cecafa/Kagame Cup club championship organizers pitted his team in the same group as APR Fc.
The two giants are in group C along with Awasa City of Ethiopia and Miembeni of Zanzibar but Kondic believes that it would have been better had his team and APR not drawn in the same group.
In an interview with Tanzania daily the Observer of Sunday, the Serbian-born coach accused Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye for being behind the scheme to have the two teams in the game group.
Kondic insisted that the groups were arranged poorly and he also pointed an accusing finger at the Cecafa secretariat for making the groups, secretly without involving club leaders, who are taking part in the tournament.
According to him, it’s wrong to put the defending champions, who are APR Fc and the hosts Young Africans in the same group, instead of separating them because, as he out it, “the championship won’t produce the competitive flavour”.
“I think the architect behind these groups is the Secretary General of CECAFA (Nicholas Musonye) because there is no way you can put APR which is defending its championship against any host team.
“Not that I am not favouring Young Africans, even if it were Simba, I would have said the same,” Kondic lamented.
Sincere respect for APR
However, Kondic, who replaced compatriot Sredejovic ‘Micho’ Milutin also expressed his respect for the teams with which they have been grouped including APR, which he described as a threat in the East and Central African Zone.
He said, “I sincerely respect APR. It is a good team in this zone. It is the one which has taken the Kagame championship since the beginning of these competitions.”
“They have money for the preparation of their team to enable them surge forward,” he acknowledged.
The nine-time national league champions and eight-time Peace Cup winners have won the regional club championship twice in 2004 and 2007 both on home soil.
APR will come face to face with some familiar faces in the likes of Pierre Mukandira Kabanda and Ben Mwalala who are on the books of Yanga.
Thin squad worries Feller
Meanwhile, APR coach Rene Feller believes his team can defend the regional title but his main concern lies with the thinness of his squad.
“The squad is too small to compete for on all fronts. We need to strengthen before the start of the next season. As for Cecafa, it’s too late to add more players “Nonetheless, we want to go there (Dar es Salaam) and show them that in Rwanda we can also play good football,” feller told Times Sport.
He added, “In Dar es Salaam, there is a problem of hot temperatures but I know how to deal with it after being there before with Eritrea.”
“We (while still Eritrea coach) didn’t win the tournament but we actually played the best football and I want to repeat it with APR.
“The only difference is that we’re going there are champions and favorites (to win it again). We want to go and play the kind of football that played against Atraco,” noted the Croat.
Group A constitutes Simba (Tanzania Mainland), Tusker (Kenya), Vital `O` (Burundi) and Benadir Telecom (Somalia) while group B comprises URA (Uganda,) Rayon (Rwanda), Denden (Eritrea) and CDI (Djibout).