Africa-Press – Rwanda. Vincent Mashami, head coach of the national football team Amavubi, is confident that forward Kevin Monet-Paquet will make instant impact when he makes his debut for Rwanda next month.
The 32-year-old has been named on the 37-man provisional squad to face Cape Verde in a Group F double-header in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Monnet-Paquet, born to a Rwandan mother and French father, plays for Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne. He has not been to Rwanda since 1993.
“He will be a great asset to the team and our overall performance. I know some of our young players will learn a lot from him, and we are very happy to welcome him,” Mashami said during a press conference to announce his squad on Wednesday, October 7, at the Rwanda football federation (Ferwafa) headquarters.
“With the amount of his talent and experience, football fans – and Rwandan in general – can expect something special from him. We look forward to having him with us in our matches against Cape Verde next month.”
Amavubi will play away to Cape Verde on November 14, before hosting the island team three days later in Kigali, in the return-leg crunch.
Mashami further added: “Sometimes we were lacking that killer instinct in front of goal, we believe his presence will add strength and efficiency to our front-line. At his level, he can probably score off one or two chances.”
Meanwhile, Monnet-Paquet is not the only new face in the team as APR duo of Ange Mutsinzi and Claude Niyomugabo also received their first call-up to the senior national team.
The team starts residential camp at Golden Tulip Hotel, in Bugesera District, on October 9.
After two matches in Group F, Amavubi are yet to earn a point having lost to Mozambique and Cameroon. Mozambique and Cameroon jointly top the group with 4 points each, while Cape Verde are third with 2 points.
Rwanda has not taken part in the AFCON finals – Africa’s biggest football event – since the 2004 edition in Tunisia.
Full 37-man squad:
: Yves Kimenyi (Kiyovu), Olivier Kwizera (Rayon), Eric Ndayishimiye (AS Kigali) and Omar Rwabugiri (APR).
: Thierry Manzi (APR), Ange Mutsinzi (APR), Fitina ombolenga (APR), Emmanuel Manishimwe (APR), Eric Rutanga (Police), Abdoul Rwatubyaye (Switchbacks, U.S.), Salomon Nirisarike (Pyunick, Armenia), Herve Rugwiro (Rayon), Emery Bayisenge (AS Kigali) and Michel Rusheshangoga (AS Kigali).
: Olivier Niyonzima (APR), Eric Ngendahimana (Kiyovu), Martin Twizerimana (Police), Eric Nsabimana (AS Kigali), Djabel Manishimwe (APR), Ally Niyonzima (Azam, Tanzania), Yannick Mukunzi (Sandvikens, Sweden), Kevin Muhire (El Gaish, Egypt), Djihad Bizimana (Waasland, Belgium), Haruna Niyonzima (Yanga, Tanzania), Claude Niyomugabo (APR), Dominique Savio Nshuti (Police) and Steve Rubanguka ( A.E. Karaiskakis, Greece).
Lague Byiringiro (APR), Ernest Sugira (APR), Patrick Sibomana (Police), Yannick Bizimana (APR), Ossée Iyabivuze (Police), Justin Mico (Police), Jacques Tuyisenge (APR), Meddie Kagere (Simba, Tanzania), Muhadjiri Hakizimana (AS Kigali) and Kevin Monnet Paquet.