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De Jongh vows to elevate Rwandan football

Newly appointed Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) technical director Hendrik Pieter De Jongh has promised to take football in the country to another level.

De Jongh, who assumed this role on Tuesday, is keen on making amends following the absence of a technical director since April 2015 after the resignation of Lee Johnson.

“My plan for the next two years is to work on good youth development for Rwanda football. I want to create a good structure in basic technical and tactical for youth who will later become good players and bring success to the national team,” he explained.

Rwanda hosted the 2011 Africa U-17 Championships and subsequently made it to the final losing 2-1 to Burkina Faso and qualified for the 2011 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Two members of that Junior Wasps squad have for the past three years been in the core of the Amavubi defense includingthen captain Emery Bayisenge at central defense andMichel Rusheshangoga at right back.

Recently Celestin Ndayishimiye featured at Chan 2016 as the dependable left back with goalkeepers Marcel Nzarora and Steven Ntalibi as well as central defender Faustin Usengimana featuring regularly in the provisional squad.

It is the lack of a consistent structure focusing on youth football to produce more young players and qualify Rwanda’s youth teams to the Africa U-17, U-20 and U-23 championships that De Jongh’s arrival is expected to address in the next two years.

He further added that, “I will also emphasize on recognizing and nurturing youth talent to pave their way to professional football.”

“I would also ensure that all the teams are trained by qualified coaches with theright experience. I know that in football team work is most important, so I shall focus on good discipline and mentality to create a positive team work spirit on and off the pitch.”

The former AFC Leopards tactician beat three other shortlisted candidates including former Rwanda technical director Michael Weiss to the job as well as Frenchman Sebastien Desabre and Giovanni Scanu of Italy.

De Jongh will be assisted by Rwandan football legend Jimmy Mulisa who also serves as the Amavubi assistant coach.

De Jongh boasts of a rich football history having played for Dutch sides NAC Breda and Sparta Rotterdam before commencing his coaching career as a youth coach at RKC Waalwijk between 1990 and 1994.

He then moved to Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) in the same position for three years. He then took over at VRC in Veenendaal, FC Dordrecht, Vitesse Delft and AZ Eredivisie.

He also worked at the Moldova Olympic Committee before taking over as director and later technical director at Budapest Honvéd academy and then moved to Ingwe in 2014.


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