APR’s continental ambitions at cross-roads

At this period where unemployment is skyrocketing around the world it would like referring someone to economic hell if you for call for their sacking. For the best part of the last decade, ten-time national league champions, army side APR have been bracing themselves for a short at continental glory but with little success.

At this period where unemployment is skyrocketing around the world it would like referring someone to economic hell if you for call for their sacking.

For the best part of the last decade, ten-time national league champions, army side APR have been bracing themselves for a short at continental glory but with little success.

Despite their relatively modest size on continental level, they have become an established regional side, and with excellent links in the local community. It is a sorry tale that a club with vast resources by local and regional standards has failed to break into continent most prominent sides.

Here I mean teams that are prominent in Africa Champions League year in, year out and the last time APR upset one of the big ones was in 2004.

To be on the same footing with Esperance Sportive de Tunis, Al Ahly, Zamalek, Club Sportif Sfaxien, TP Mazembe and Enyimba, Rwanda’s most recognized team on the continent must spend wisely when it comes to recruitment.
In 2007 APR fired almost the entire first team with a view of giving chance to Rwanda’s youngsters. However they have since failed on this promise, currently only three players; JC Ndoli, Jean Baptista Mugiraneza and Haruna Niyonzima hold down regular team places.

And the club has not done any better by poaching talent from local clubs only to let them rot in the reserves or discard them seasons later. APR has spent vast sums of money on average players who haven’t helped the club’s cause.

The club’s recruitment leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen several players come and go from the military side and very few can be remembered for their on-field contribution. 

In 2004, APR broke a fret by qualifying to the third round of the African Champions League after eliminating Egyptian side El Zamalek on a 6-4 goal aggregate.

Zamalek, champions of Africa, a record five times were packed with Egyptian stars well versed in the rigors of international football. But just what has gone wrong at APR?

The club’s scouting network which has been one of the main club’s undoing should be transparent to avoid big spending on average players.

I think this is very important. For the club to show more ambition they would have to spend more money on good players and so it is imperative they gave the technical team time to succeed.

kas2dani@yahoo.com

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