Celestin Ndayishimiye of Rwanda during the 2016 CHAN football match between Rwanda and Gabon at the Amahora Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on 20 January 2016 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Monday Jan 08, 2018. 14:00
Rwanda captain Eric ‘Bakame’ Ndayishimiye has urged Amavubi players to significantly up their game if they are to shine at the 2018 Africa Nation’s Championship (CHAN) finals
The goalkeeper spoke to Rwandan publication, New Times, ahead of the continental competition which will be hosted by Morocco from January 12 to February 4.
“We need to give serious consideration to this competition because we can gain a lot from playing against bigger teams—the only way to get better in CHAN is by having better preparations,” he said.
This will be Rwanda’s third appearance (after 2011 and 2016) in Africa’s second biggest football tournament that gathers exclusively players featuring in their respective domestic leagues.
“Reaching the final round was an important achievement for us, but we don’t want to sit here and assume that everything will be fine, we must continue to work hard so that we are better prepared,” he added.
“We have to forget what happened in past and look to the future, we have to believe that we can make history again by reaching the knockout round, but first thing is to make sure we get out of the group.”
Amavubi are in Group C alongside Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea as well as Libya. They will face Nigeria in their first game next week Monday.
In 2016, Rwanda reached the quarter-finals under Johnny McKinstry before they were eliminated by DR Congo 2-1 in extra-time. DRC went on to win the tournament.