Rwanda APR showed character and mentality of winning against Police FC – Darko Novic

APR FC head coach Darko Novic praised his players for showing character during their 1-0 win over Police FC on Monday, July 1, to win Amahoro Stadium inauguration trophy.

The crunch tie, which pitted Rwanda’s 2023/24 league champions against 2023 Peace Cup winners, took place as part of the inauguration of renovated Amahoro Stadium. President Paul Kagame and CAF president Patrice Motsepe were among thousands of spectators who watched the game.

Novic, who was coaching his first match since taking charge of APR FC a week ago, was impressed by his players’ performance against Police FC but he admits the team isn’t at the level he wants it to be yet.

“The boys need credit because they worked hard to win this game. I am happy with the way the players applied themselves on the field. The showed their character and mentality of winning and they have done what I wanted, so I am very happy and I am looking forward to seeing them to do more,” the Serbian told the press in a post-match interview as quoted by Times Sports.

He, however, said that his side still has areas to improve as to better prepare for tournaments coming up. “We are looking forward to improving in every tournament and in every game. We will do all possible to build strong team which can compete at highest level,” he said.

“We had one week to prepare the game, and I think we have done well, I am satisfied with the players’ response. We have new players who I am assessing and I have to give more time to show what they can.”

Gilbert Mugisha became the first player to find the back of the net at the new- look Amahoro Stadium as his first-half strike powered the army side to the victory at the expense of Vincent Mashami’s charges and Novic was of full of praise for the Rwandan winger who, he said, could have better than he did.

“Gilbert was fresh today and he showed he cause a lot of problems for the opposing team. He could have scored two more goals in the second half,” he said.

Now, APR will be turning their focus on the forthcoming CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024, which will take place in Tanzania and Zanzibar from July 6-22.

Organised by Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA), the tournament rebranded to CECAFA Kagame Cup since 2002, when President Paul Kagame began sponsoring the competition. It is contested by clubs from East and Central Africa.


Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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