Ulimwengu on his move to Rayon and ‘bloody race’ for league title

Jules Ulimwengu celebrates after scoring the lone goal that stunned Police at Amahoro Stadium earlier this month. The 19-year-old leads the top-scorers’ charts with 17 goals this season. Courtesy.

Free-scoring Jules Ulimwengu has said that his switch to Rayon Sports was ‘the perfect thing to do’ and tips the Blues to overcome possible setbacks all the way to the Azam Rwanda Premier League title.

The Burundian striker completed his Rwf 8million move from Sunrise in January, coming as a quick-fix replacement to compatriot Bonfils Caleb Bimenyimana who had just left the club for FK Rīgas Futbola Skola, in Latvia.

Since his move, the 19-year old has scored eight – including five-match winning – goals for Rayon, and looks poised for the golden boot as he leads the top-scorers list with 17 goals, three better than second-placed Muhadjiri Hakizimana, of APR.

With three-match rounds left in the 2018/2019 league season, Rayon top the table with 63 points, just one ahead of defending champions APR who are bidding for a record-extending 18th title in just 24 years.

Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Ulimwengu defended his January move, calling it “the best decision I have ever made in my football career” before urging his teammates to stay ‘humble and hungry’ ahead of their clash against Musanze.

“It didn’t take me long to adapt at Rayon; thanks to the amazing teammates. They are the best group of people I have ever worked with,” said a visibly jovial Ulimwengu.

Rayon host Musanze in the two sides’ match-day 28 fixture at Kigali Stadium, on Friday.

Ulimwengu, who has scored five goals in his last four games; including braces against AS Muhanga and Espoir, insists that Brazilian head coach Roberto Oliviera deserves to be credited for the club’s rapid turnaround in the last four weeks.

“He (Roberto) inspires us a lot. The match, to him, is never over until the final whistle, and that’s the spirit that drives players to fight.

In a spell of only two weeks, between April 20 and May 5, Rayon Sports defied the odds in a drastic reverse from a seven-point deficit behind APR to a one-point lead over the military side.

Burundi-born youngster, Ulimwengu, told this publication that “winning the golden boot would be a fantastic achievement” but it is not his main focus. “My priority is to help my team to win the league title; I don’t care much about the golden boot.”

Should the former Sunrise star net three times, or more, in the last three games, he will beat the 19-goal record set by Dany Usengimana during the 2016/2017 season. He would also become the league’s youngest top-scorer.

After Friday’s home game, Rayon will up-next travel to Nyakarambi turf for an away encounter against relegation-bound Kirehe before taking on title spoilers Marines at Kigali Stadium, on June 1, in their last game.

“This is a bloody race for the title. We have to be cautious and aggressive at the same time.”


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