AS Kigali head coach, Eric Nshimiyimana, has said that his players are picking up the pace well after holding a group training for the first time in nearly seven months on Wednesday.
The club started preparing for the upcoming Caf Confederation Cup campaign after all the players and staff returned negative Covid-19 tests on Tuesday.
The team is camping at Baobab Hotel, in Nyamirambo, and will be using Kigali Stadium as their training facility until the first match on the weekend of November 20-22.
“The players [remarkably] looked in shape and responded well to the first-day training,” said Nshimiyimana, a retired midfielder who was part of the national team that competed at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
“During the lockdown, the players were training at individual level in their home confines, but it was insufficient and hard to monitor. We have a lot of work to do to get back to the pre-coronavirus level, obviously because players have been out of action for almost 7 months, but we will get there. They are showing commitment and character in camp.”
Among the players in AS Kigali’s camp are Rwanda internationals Muhadjiri Hakizimana, a forward, and centre-back Emery Bayisenge who were both signed this summer.
Hakizimana joined the City of Kigali-sponsored side in August from UAE side Emirates FC, while Bayisenge was signed from Bangladeshi outfit Saif Sporting Club last month.
AS Kigali, winners of the 2019 Peace Cup, earned the right to represent the country in the 2020/21 Caf Confederation Cup after this year’s Peace Cup tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nshimiyimana’s side also featured in the continent’s second-biggest club competition last season where they were knocked out by Uganda’s Proline in the first round.Follow https://twitter.com/pkamasa