He may be under scrutiny by anyone connected to the club but APR head coach Rene Feller has received backing from one of his most senior players.
The Dutchman is under no elusion about that fact that, failure to lead the military side to the league title this season will tantamount to his sacking, something that puts him under immerse pressure to deliver.
With his one-year contract expiring next April, Feller must turn his desire to see his team play ‘sexy’ football into desire to win titles or else he’ll be out of job at the end of his current deal.
Just two weeks after getting a vote of confidence from his bosses, it’s was turn for one of the team’s senior players to pay tribute to the veteran tactician.
Goalkeeper Aime Ndizeye a.k.a Ndanda, who apart from Elias Ntaganda, is the club’s longest serving player among the present lot, has nothing but just sympathy for his under fire coach.
“He is different from all the coaches that have coached us (APR) in the past. Unlike his predecessors, he likes to go through every detail of getting the best out of the players,” noted Ndanda.
He added, “I know some people have tried to undermine what he’s trying to do but I like his style.”
“He doesn’t care whether you’re the star or senior member of the team; he’s ready to deal with any sort of indiscipline in the team.
“But one thing I really like about him is that he treats all the players equally. He believes in things to be done a team and not as individuals, whatever he does, he puts the interest of the team first,” acknowledged the long-serving shot-stopper, who has been at the club for eight years. Having lost his place in the first team to his rival and ‘best’ pal Jean Claude Ndoli during Feller’s tenure, the Burundian international would ideally be expected to be bitter with the coach, but he’s first to praise his professionalism.
“He (Feller) does things in a professional way. He’ll not play anyone because of who they’re but because of what they’re capable of at that particular time.”
APR’s secretary general, Aime Kayinamura recently backed Feller to lead the club out of any possible predicament, dispelling rumors that the Dutchman is fighting to save his job.
He said, “We are contented with what he is doing for the club and there is no need to panic, and I believe he can lead the club to trophies this season.”
Feller, 65 made his debut on APR’s bench in April after signing a year deal to manage the country’s most successful team with a record nine league titles, eight Peace cup titles and two Cecafa club championships.
He replaced the sacked Congolese born Andy Mfutila, but was piped to last year’s league title by Atraco coached by ex-APR player and coach Jean Marie Ntagwabira.
Midfielder Haruna Niyonzima is another senior player despite his young age, who according his won admission, is enjoying life under Feller’s tutorage.
Since 2003/04 season, APR have gone through eight coaches (including one interim), here is the full list, Ntagwabira (two spells), Jacob Mulee, Valence Muvala, Jean Paul Akono, Mfutila, Jean David Katotola (interim) and now Feller.