National Football League
Atraco v Jeunesse
APR v Amagaju
Mukura v Electrogaz
Kiyovu v Marines
Rayon v Police
AS Kigali v Kibuye
ATRACO kick-off their 2008/09 national football league campaign with a home fixture against minnows La Jeunesse this afternoon at Shorongyi grounds.
The taxi-men club heads into today’s fixture as clear favorites following a fruitful campaign last season.
It will be newly recruited Coach Sam Timbe who must prove to his bosses that they should expect a glorious season ahead of big matches that will draw his side against the perennial league giants APR later in the season.
A win for Atraco would ensure a better start for the taxi-men side to the new season but any slight mistake would see the minnows-La Jeunesse disappointing the champions.
“We are ready for the Challenge. I have been preparing for the new season ever since I arrived at the club three weeks ago,”
“We will be playing against a team which featured in the national league two seasons ago and am sure it will be a good game,” Timbe said.
Timbe added that a solid squad will be lined-up for today’s fixture but decried the poor state of stadiums.
“The hosting infrastructures are poor but we will devise means of displaying a better game.
On other hand, la Jeunesse are renown for disappointing big clubs and Yves Rwasamanzi’s boys have been impressive in their pre-season training. Elsewhere, APR start their campaign with a full strength team and will host newly league entrants Amagaju at Muhanga stadium.
The Military side which lost the title to Atraco last season has come in full gear to win every silverware in the country.
Coach Rene Feller’s tenure at the military club has seen him win the Peace Cup last season thus booking APR’s ticket into the African Confederation Cup.
The veteran tactician must prove to critics that his tactics can win APR the tenth title.
Former champions Kiyovu are expected to host Marines at Mumena while last season’s debutants Electrogaz make a long trip to southern province to face giant killers Mukura VC.
The Butare based side are looking to improve on their fifth place finish last season having turned Huye into a fortress where they get good results no matter what opposition comes their way .
Tomorrow, league perennial residents AS Kigali and Kibuye square up at Mumena while Rayon Sport will Police in an eye-thrilling battle at Mironko stadium.
Meanwhile, further reports say that the 2007/08 league champions Atraco are on the verge of signing former APR defender Aloua Gaseruka.
Gaseruka who is currently trading his skills in the DR Congo league is the ultimate solution to Atraco’s leaking defense.
Atraco want Gaseruka to combine with Tom Ssemwogerere at the back as they try to create a solid defensive partnership ahead of next year’s African Champions League as well as the national football league.
Atraco has failed to find a suitable replacement of Ismail Nshutinamagara who moved to rivals APR last season.
The services of the newly recruited Amani Uwilingiyimana from Police have been fruitful in as far as forming a solid partnership with Ssemwogerere is concerned.