Change is a factor of life and its change has engulfed regional and national football giants, APR. Seventeen players have been released from the military side ahead of the opening of this season’s transfer window.
Jimmy Gatete, Ben Mandela, Boniface Pawassa, Lema Mampuya, Shaka Okello, Manfred Kizito, Jannot Witakenge, Vincent Kayizi, Alimansi Kadogo, ,Andre Lomami, Yousuf Kayihura, Joseph Bwalya, Ahmed Luzinga, Mbua Kongolo, Modeviaga Kanu, Honore Kabongo, Patrick Mafisango and Jean Shyaka.
Sibo hang-up boots
Another twist in APR’s fairytale is that long-serving Former club Skipper Abdul Sibomana has announced his long coming retirement from football.
According Capt. Eric Ntazinda the club’s manager Abdul Sibomana had made it clear to the club officials at the beginning of last season that he will be retiring at the end of the season.
The Amavubi star joined the nine-time national champions in 2001 from Kiyovu.
Kabange Twite, Mbuyu Twite, Jean Bosco Uwacu, Aime Ndizeye Ndanda, Mwemere Girinshuti, Jean Claude Ndoli, Abbas Rassou, Saiddot Boubakary, Aloua Gaseruka and Elias Ntaganda.
The APR club manager, Capt. Eric Ntazinda revealed to Sunday Sport that some of the players who were offloaded had their contracts expired while the rest were regarded surplus.
“The club committees reached a final agreement of releasing the players because they were surplus to the club and some were also ageing. We want to recruit young players because the future of our club and country’s football development will depend on the youthful players,”
“Some of the players like Witakenge, Kizito and the rest have been pivotal in our team’s success but we found it right to for them to leave to pave way for young players who have also shown the capability of excelling,” Ntazinda said.
Ntazinda further added that Mafisango’s case is extraordinary despite his expulsion from the club; any club that must recruit him will have to first talk to the military side such that both clubs reach an agreement.
Some of the players whose contracts had expired include: Witakenge, Kizito, Kadogo, Bwalya, Kayizi, Kayihura, Lomami, Mandela, Gatete, Bwalya and Luzinga.
The military side has confirmed that five players have been contacted to sign for APR next season.
They include; Elias Uzamukunda (AS Kigali), Eric Serugaba (Etincelles), Eric Yirirwahandi (AS Kigali), Djabir Mutarambirwa (SC Kiyovu) and Peter Maniraguha(AS Kigali) respectively.
The military side is also on the verge of recruiting some of the players from the U-18 national team which is currently undergoing a training session in Germany. The list of the players who will join the military side will be known when the juniors return back next week. Ntazinda revealed
APR warns Rayon over Haruna deal
Meanwhile, the military side has warned rivals Rayon Sport to stop threatening them from contacting Haruna Niyonzima over a possible move to APR.
Ntazinda said, “They should know that Haruna is a free agent and therefore stand no right of blocking clubs from approaching him for a transfer deal,”
“We have not talked to him (Haruna) but when he returns back from the U-18 team’s training session from Germany, he is the only one who will decide which club he will join,” Ntazinda said.
Haruna who signed a one-year contract with the blues at the beginning of last year’s Primus league season has led to both clubs exchanging bitter words.
Ntagwabira tight lipped
In a related development, APR’s bitter rival, Atraco is still silent over a possible move for some of the released APR players.
When contacted for a comment former APR player and coach, Atraco interim coach, Capt. Jean Marie Ntagwabira said that the club’s committee has not yet decided over the possible move for some of the players.
“Maybe the top administrators will talk to them but at the moment, no contact has been made between the club and the players,” Ntagwabira said.