RWANDA bid farewell to 2012 Africa Nations’ cup qualifier on a fair note last weekend after a stunning 1-0 victory over hosts Benin in Porto Novo.
The result left Rwanda on second position in Group H with six points but not good enough to send the wasps to Equatorial Guinea/Gabon finals next year.
As the clock ticks, qualifiers for 2014 Brazil World Cup finals and 2013 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be hosted by South Africa are just next door.
The football fraternity is waiting for the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture upon recommendation from the national football body, Ferwafa to name the next coach after the October 22 elections for the new FA president who will replace Brig. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura who resigned last month.
But as the country awaits Ferwafa’s decision to name the coach, does Amavubi need a foreigner? Can he make a difference in time for both 2013 and 2014 Continental and worldwide showpieces? Or we leave the team in hands of the current coaches because they have proved to the potential to do so?
Personally, I find it impossible for a foreign coach to handle the Amavubi and make any difference that Tetteh never did considering matters concerning our local football.
As many football administrators and fans have fronted former SC Villa, St. George and Al-Hilal coach Mico Milutin Sredojevic to manage the national team, if he assumes the post, expect him to end his tenure without any tangible result.
His experience on a club level cannot be integrated into the national team with such an ease and for him to exhibit those positive results would require him more years to first gain experience of how it feels to coach a national team.
Just like Micho, Ratomir, Patrice Neveu or even any other foreign coach to be able to make an impact with the wasps would like them to be given a long term contract of first build a solid source of players which will provide players to the national team.
By ‘building a solid source of players’, I mean engaging and developing football at the grassroots. Let government take its initiative and fund and develop second, third and U-17 leagues countrywide because this will help Amavubi team to have a large selection base of at least 200 footballers in three years time.
As we take this initiative, then the trio of Eric Nshimiyimana, Emmanuel Ruremesha and Thomas Higiro or any other local coach can be trusted with the management of the team as we wait for the selection base to fill the needed gap.
Nshimiyimana has proved that he can handle the national team but I am quite assured that due to the jealous and other matters of conflicts from different stakeholders involved in the management of football matters behind closed doors, it will be a hard battle for him to assume the post.
At the end of the day, it’s tax payers’ money which is spent on foreign coaches who have failed to replicate the heavy pay into something tangible for the national team.
Once the team has been given those local coaches, share them with the approximate Rwf.8million a foreign coach receives every month, let everyone receive at least 2 million each and ask them results. What I believe they will perform better than several coaches we have had in the past.
This will help them to even gain experience as we build our grassroots football and once that has been achieved then we can start searching for foreign coaches with an advanced experiences and qualifications to take us from there.
For Rwanda to commit itself to a hyper motivated coach, we need the grassroots football structure to be concrete and this will not happen today or next year but at least in two or three years’ time.
You can’t give a coach a two-year contract and expect him to build a solid grassroots football structure….never, because it is a long term project that needs commitment and patience in order to obtain positive results.
A long term commitment on grassroots football will help our selection base for Amavubi team to rise from at least 50-100 players before we can think about qualifying for the next Africa Cup of Nations and once this has been attained, then we can start dreaming playing at the World Cup finals.