Nyirimana targets first league title with UTB

Fidèle Nyirimana (C) celebrates with his players Madison Placide Sibomana (L) and Olivier Ntagengwa after winning this year's Ubutwari Volleyball Tournament in February. Courtesy

Fidèle Nyirimana, the head coach of UTB Volleyball Club, has said that his ultimate target priority this season is to guide the varsity side to their first league title.

The former Gisagara coach insists that he and his team have what it takes to achieve the feat after winning three titles so far in the 2019/2020 campaign and sitting third on the league table.

 

The championship will resume in September, nearly six months since it was suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

UTB won the preseason tournament, Gisaka Open and Ubutwari Cup but Nyirimana has challenged his players not to settle for less.

 

“The team is doing well; we are third in the league and we have many regular season games ahead and the playoffs,” said the former Rwanda international who joined UTB on a three-year deal from Gisagara in 2018.

“We will try to win as many of our games as possible, especially the playoff games. Our ultimate goal is to clinch the championship. We won some titles already this season but we can’t settle for less, the league title is top priority.”

Third-placed hopefuls UTB have 18 points, three adrift of joint leaders Gisagara and reigning champions Rwanda Energy Group – REG.

“The stakes are high, it [winning the league] is definitely going to be a tough task to pull off but I have confidence in my players and the maturity of our squad.”

UTB finished third in the last two seasons, while REG and Gisagara have won the last three championships between them, including the 2017-18 title that the latter won with Nyirimana.

About Nyirimana

Born in April 1978, in Gisagara District of the Southern Province, Nyirimana started his youth career with ACEPR, in Nyamagabe District and Espanya, in Nyanza District, in the early 1990s before making his league debut with Amasata volleyball club in 1996.

The retired libero then crossed to APR men’s volleyball club the following year where he played for two years before joining Blue Tigers in 1999.

Between 2001 and 2006, Nyirimana played for and won many titles with the University of Rwanda (formerly National University of Rwanda – UNR) while he also represented the country in several international competitions.

After calling time on his glittering playing career, Nyirimana immediately ventured into coaching, starting with Huye-based Indatwa Volleyball Club and later with UNR until 2013 when he was signed by then newly formed and now-defunct Rayon Sports volleyball club.

He also previously coached Kirehe and guided them to the 2017 Carre d’AS glory.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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