Rwanda’s professional academy, Isonga Football Club has vowed to do what it takes in bid to win the 4th edition of the Tournoi International du District Autonome d’Abidjan (TIDA) which is scheduled to be staged in Cote d’Ivoire, from November 30 to December 6, 2017.
Isonga Fc pooled in Group B alongside hosts Côte d’Ivoire U17 Elephants (Cote d’Ivoire), WAFA (Ghana) and Racing Club d’Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) departed for Abidjan on Tuesday.
Speaking to KT Sports on Tuesday morning, Isonga head coach Moussa Gatera said, “We intend to stage triumphant performances on our maiden debut at the TIDA tournament. We go into the tournament with an aim of winning it. We have good players who have trained well and I remain optimistic and confident on staging excellent performances,”
“Besides our aim being to win the title, we hope this tournament will expose our good talents to professional clubs because many football agents and scouts will be in Abidjan to follow-up on what the tournament has to offer in terms of new players, so I expect many of players to impress and be able to secure contracts with some of the professional clubs in Africa or Europe,” added Gatera.
Isonga Fc, composed of 20 players left Kigali for Abidjan on Tuesday morning, 08h00 aboard Rwandair. They will have a stop-over in Cotonou, Benin before reconnecting to Abidjan with expected arrival scheduled for 15:30.
Besides Group A, there are two other group of four teams which will spice up this year’s edition. Holders Asec Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire, are placed in Group A alongside FC San Pedro (Cote d’Ivoire), FC Lakika (Mali) and Junior Volcano (Cote d’Ivoire).
Pool C is made up of Morocco’s Royal VI Academy, Cote d’Ivoire’s SOA, home team Ivoire Academie and Burkina Faso’s Royal FC. The matches will be staged at Champroux de Marcory and the sports complexes of Yopougon and Abobo respectively.
The first ranked teams in each group at the end of knock-out matches will qualify for the semi-finals. The teams that will hold second place will play in a half-time tournament, after which the winner will complete the semi-final stage.
Isonga Fc started with the pool of players that participated in Africa U-17 Youth Championships held in Rwanda and later at the World Cup finals tournament in Mexico, in order for the country to have a large pool of young players to feed the big clubs.
Isonga was founded in 2011 as a composition of players, who played in the U-17 African Youth Championships and the FIFA World Cup. The team was promoted to the U-20 level and registered to play in the national league without going through the second division.
Under, Eric Nshimiyimana, Isonga FC finished in sixth position in its debut season in the 2011/12 season but failed to maintain that impressive form the next campaign, which saw them relegated to the second-tier league before they withdrew from the second tier this year.
Group A: Asec Mimoas, FC San Pedro (Cote d’Ivoire), Fc Lakika (Mali) and Volcan Junior (Cote d’Ivoire)
Group B: Côte d’Ivoire U17 Elephants (Cote d’Ivoire), WAFA (Ghana), Racing Club d’Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and Isonga Fc (Rwanda)
Group C: Academie Mohamed VI (Morocco), SOA (Cote d’Ivoire), Ivoire Academie (Cote d’Ivoire) and Royal SC (Burkina Faso)
Isonga Fc Traveling Squad:
Players: Iradukunda Emmanuel, Nkubana Marc, Ishimwe Christian, Uwineza Aime Placide, Ndabarasa Tresor, Turatsinze Peter, Bonane Janvier, Mugisha Patrick, Nduwayezu Jean Paul, Cyitegetse Bogarde, Ishimwe Sareh, Twagiramungu Jerome, Mugisha Yvan, Mandera Robert, Rutayisire Amani, Songayingabo Shaffi, Ntwali Fiacre, Byiringiro Lague, Uwimana Guilain and Butare Henry.
Technical Staff: Gatera Mousa, Nonde Mouhamed, Kabalisa Calliope, Ntarengwa Aimable, Habimana Sixbert and Rwabuyonza Jean Paul.