Thirty players have been summoned to start training ahead of the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations Qualifier against Kenya due next month.
The team summoned by Head Coach Mashami Vincent starts intensive training on Wednesday at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali City.
Rwanda and Kenya will face-off on 1st April 2018 in the first leg to be played at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos while the return leg will be played on 21st April 2018 at Stade de Kigali in Kigali City.
The National U-20 Team which will be residing at Hill Top Hotel in Remera, will be holding double training sessions at Amahoro Stadium from March 21 to 30, 2018.
Unveiling the 30-man youthful squad which consists of players born after 1999 on Tuesday at Rwanda Football Federation headquarters, head coach Mashami said, “We have summoned 30 players to begin intensive training. In ten days, we hope to pick a strong squad which will give us the needed positive result which will see through next to the round.”
“We have picked the best players among the many that we listed out and we believe and trust in their ability to stage triumphant results. Our mission is to secure a good result against Kenya in the first leg before we finish the task at home.”
“We will use the little time that we have to assemble the best 18 players out of the 30 that we have summoned. It’s not easy but it has to be achieved within the remaining time frame that we have,” added Mashami.
The squad is comprised of promising players who have been from Azam Rwanda Premier League clubs namely; APR Fc, Rayon Sports Fc, Bugesera Fc, AS Kigali, Marines Fc, Mukura VS and Musanze Fc.
Second Division sides Intare Fc and Unity Fc have the most of number of players summoned to the national team. Intare Fc has ten players while Unity has four players summoned to beef up the team.
Notable players who have been summoned include APR Fc trio of defenders Songayisibo Shaffy (APR Fc), Buregeya Prince (APR Fc) and striker Byilingiro Lague (APR Fc) who have gained international exposure with the military side.
Coach Mashami will work alongside Marines Fc coach Rwasamanzi Yves and Mukura Fc goal keeper coach Mugabo Alexis.
The aggregate winner between Rwanda and Kenya will face defending champions Zambia in the second round. The second round qualifiers are scheduled for May, 2018.
The final qualifying round will be staged in July with the winners earning automatic slots to next year’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.
In other first round fixtures, Mauritania will take on Morocco, Guinea Bissau will face Sierra Leone, Algeria will face Tunisia, Liberia will face Benin, Gabon will take on Togo, while Ethiopia has been drawn against Burundi.
Zambia, Guinea, Nigeria, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and Sudan have been given a bye into the second round.
Zambia are defending champions after winning the 2017 edition held in Lusaka following a 2-0 goal against Senegal in the final.
Rwanda last hosted the 2009 edition of the CAF U-20 Nations Cup and could only manage to finish third in their group which was composed of Ghana, Cameroon and Mali respectively.
The Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations 2019 edition will be held in Niger.
Rwanda U-20 Provisional Squad:
Goalkeepers: Cyuzuzo Gael (Unity Fc), Ntwali Fiacre (Intare Fc) and Iratugenera Edouard (Mukura VS)
Defenders: Songayisibo Shaffy (APR Fc), Buregeya Prince (APR Fc), Ndayishimiye Thierry (Marines Fc), Ishimwe Christian (Marines Fc), Uwineza Aime Placide (SC Kiyovu), Habineza Olivier (Rayon Sports Fc), Ndabarasa Tresor (Unity Fc), Nkubana Marc (Unity Fc), Nshimiyimana Govin (Intare Fc), Hakizimana Felicien (Intare Fc) and Niyigena Clement (Intare Fc),
Midfielders: Nyilinkindi Saleh (APR Fc), Bonane Janvier (SC Kiyovu), Cyitegetse Bogarde (Bugesera Fc), Tumusime Alitijan (Rayon Sports Fc), Muhozi Fred (AS Kigali), Ishimwe Saleh (Unity Fc), Byukusenge Jacob (Intare Fc), Nyandwi Charles (Intare Fc), Uwimana Emmanuel (Intare Fc) and Nduwayezu Jean Paul (Musanze Fc).
Forwards: Byilingiro Lague (APR Fc), Mugisha Patrick (Marines Fc), Sindambiwe Protais (Intare Fc), Nshimyumuremyi Gilbert (Intare Fc), Tumusime Aloysias (Intare Fc) and Ndayisenga Emmanuel Fleury (Mukura VS)