New-look APR step up preps for Cecafa Kagame Cup

Ange Mutsinzi (background) is one of the four players APR signed from bitter rivals Rayon Sports. Courtesy.

Saturday (Group C)

APR           Vs      Proline

Heegan     Vs      Green Buffaloes

APR have stepped up preparations – with new signings and intensive training – for the 4th Cecafa Kagame Cup.

The 2019 edition of the premier regional club competition gets underway Saturday when APR take on Ugandan outfit Proline in their Group C opener at Kigali Stadium.

Ahead of the clash against Proline, new-look APR held their first training session with nine new players, at Kicukiro Stadium on Monday afternoon, after releasing sixteen players last week.

Of the nine signings, four crossed from bitter rivals Rayon Sports.

Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, interim coach Jimmy Mulisa said that the new arrivals, and those they found at the club, have a good level of match fitness and are working hard in training to keep the Cecafa Kagame Cup title at home.

“The players understand well our target (in Cecafa Cup) and are working hard to give results,” said Mulisa who was part of the club’s 2004 Cecafa winning squad in Kigali.

The former Rayon Sports quartet, now at APR, comprises defenders Thierry Manzi and Ange Mutsinzi, holding midfielder Olivier ‘Sefu’ Niyonzima and playmaker Djabel Manishimwe.

They follow in the footsteps of several other players who crossed from Rayon to APR over the last 15 years such as Bokota Labama, Albert Ngabo, Haruna Niyonzima, Djihad Bizimana, Faustin Usengimana, Emmanuel Imanishimwe and Djamar Mwiseneza.

APR, who also won the competition in 2007, have been drawn in Pool C along with Proline, Green Buffaloes of Zambia and Somalia’s Heegan.

Other new faces at the army side include goalkeeper Omar Rwabugiri and defender Alex Nkomezi from Mukura, Heritier Ahishakiye and Clément Niyigena from Marines as well as former Police midfielder Mohamed Mushimiyimana.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that the record 17-time Rwandan champions have started talks with Haruna Niyonzima after their former midfielder parted company with Tanzania giants Simba SC last week.

APR will be looking to make amends for their nightmare outing last year when they bowed out of the tournament from the group stage in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Groups

Group A: Rayon Sports, TP Mazembe, KMC, Atlabara

Group B:Azam, Mukura VS, Bandari, KCCA

Group C:APR, Proline, Green Buffaloes, Heegan

Group D:Gor Mahia, DCMP, KMKM, AS Ports

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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