Masudi takes charge of first AS Kigali training session

Djuma Masudi Irambona, 41, guided Rayon Sports to the 2016-2017 league title before switching to Tanzania's Simba SC at that end of the season. File photo

Saturday

Kirehe vs AS Kigali

On Monday evening, Djuma Masudi Irambona oversaw an AS Kigali training session for the first time since penning his one-year deal as the club’s new head coach last Friday.

Fitness work was on the agenda before passing and ball circulation exercises were introduced by the new boss at Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.

The former Rayon Sports skipper replaced Eric Nshimiyimana who stepped down from the head coach role earlier this month after four years of tenure. The latter guided the City of Kigali-sponsored side to a second place finish, last season, in the league with 61 points, five behind champions APR and nine ahead of second runners-up Rayon Sports.

Talking to media after conducting his first training drill, the former Burundi international emphasized the strength of AS Kigali as a group rather than hyping individuals, saying that he looks forward to turning the club’s fortunes around in quest to inspire them to their first league title.

“It was a wonderful first training session with my players, I was amazed by the morale in the team and collectiveness amongst the players. Truth to be said, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of fitness and polishing our game, but, with commitment, we will get there,” he said.

Masudi who is best remembered for his pivotal role as Rayon Sports clinched the 1998 CECAFA Club Championship in Zanzibar, admitted that lack of preparation may hurt the club in the short term, but expects to make quick progress in the catch-up and hit top gear in due time.

His first league game in charge will be the clash against Kirehe in Kirehe District on Saturday after watching from the stands as his side and Musanze played out a 1-all draw at Kigali Stadium on Sunday.

“The team is a blend of experienced players and youngsters, which is crucial in building a team that can give results instantly, but also fit for the long-term goals of the club,” he further noted.

Masudi, 41, guided Rayon Sports to the 2016/2017 league title – the first in four years – before joining Tanzania giants Simba SC where he also inspired them to their 19th league title last season.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

ADVERTISEMENT