Jacques Tuyisenge (L), seen here with centre-back Ange Mutsinzi training at Shyorongi artifical turf last week, joined APR on a two-year deal last month. The forward is the assistant captain for the national team Amavubi. / Photo: Courtesy.

New signing Jacques Tuyisenge has backed APR to shine in the upcoming Caf Champions League as the army side look to reach the competition’s group stage for the first time.

Tuyisenge, 29, joined APR on a two-year deal worth Rwf48 million last month, and has since been given the shirt number 9 that belonged to striker Djuma Nizeyimana last season.

APR will represent the country in Africa’s premier club competition, starting in November, after romping to their record-extending 18th league title unbeaten last season. The championship was concluded at match-day 23 of the 30-game campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuyisenge, who has not played for any local side since February 2016, has heaped praise on APR as a ‘club that is run professionally’ than most clubs in the country and the region, and insisted that he and his teammates are motivated to write history on continental stage.

“The players and coaching staff [in camp] are working hard and committed to the mission, we all want to give it everything we got to achieve the set targets for next season – especially in the Champions League,” said Tuyisenge who joined APR from Angolan side Petro Atletico.

The Champions League gets underway on the weekend of November 20-22, but APR are yet to know who they will meet in the preliminary round.

“Adil [Erradi] is a coach with vision and tries to get the best out of everybody, we must be able to win against any opponent in the opening round. We should reach far,” said Tuyisenge.

Should the black-and-white outfit reach the lustrous group stage, they will be the first Rwandan side to achieve the feat in the Caf Champions League. Tuyisenge reached the stage in the CAF Confederation Cup – Africa’s second biggest club showpiece – with Kenya’s Gor Mahia twice.

“I joined APR to write history with the club. The group stage is an ambitious goal but it is achievable, and we have what it takes. I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

Tuyisenge, who captained Police to the 2015 Peace Cup glory, played for Gor Mahia from February 2016 to July 2019 before departing for Petro Atletico as the club’s highest-scoring foreign player with 63 goals.

Meanwhile, the Rwanda football federation’s commission in charge of inspecting the teams’ readiness for continental football, has given an all-clear to APR after visiting the club at their headquarters in Kimihurura on Monday.

Source: The New Times