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MOMENTS after being unveiled as the new Amavubi coach, Stephen Constantine vowed to use his vast experience to improve Rwandan football. The 51-year-old Briton, unveiled by Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) president Vincent Nzamwita at the federation headquarters in Remera yesterday, signed a two-year deal.

“I want to use my vast experience, which includes serving as a Fifa instructor, to improve Rwandan football through training local coaches,” Constantine said.

But he acknowledged that he was taking on a huge task that requires him to build a competitive team ahead of the Chan 2016 tournament which will be staged in Rwanda.

He called on all Rwandans to get on board and play a part in building a successful national team.

“The work I am about to embark on is not about me, it’s about every Rwandan and if we are going to be successful, we need to work together,” Constantine said.

Asked about his plan for Chan 2016, he said, “to say that we are going to win the title would be premature but I want to make sure we field a competitive side.”

The former coach of the English Championship side Millwall was among the initial pack of more than 20 applicants for the Amavubi job and later seven shortlisted candidates.

He replaces former Amavubi midfielder Eric Nshimiyimana whose one-year stint at the helm could not turn a new page for a team that has seen a run of poor results in recent past.

Officials say he had the most impressive CV of all the candidates.

Constantine thanked Ferwafa and the Ministry of Sports and Culture for entrusting him with the national team. “It is really a great honour.”

Last week, Ferwafa had announced they were finalising talks with Constantine to take over as the new Amavubi head coach.

The deal would later be sealed over the weekend in Tunisia where Constantine watched Rwanda hold Libya 0-0 in the first leg of the 2015 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

He’ll be deputised by Andre Casa Mbugo who was in the dugout as interim head coach during the Libya game.

Constantine’s first competitive match will be the second leg in Kigali on May 31.

In his previous jobs, Constantine managed the national sides of Nepal (1999-2001), India (2002-05), Malawi (2007-08) and Sudan in 2009.

He was also first team coach of the English Championship side Millwall during the 2005/06 season.

Most recently, he managed Nea Salamis in the Cypriot First Division, guiding them to promotion to first division.

Constantine holds a Uefa pro licence, and, as a member of Fifa’s elite coaches panel, he runs courses around the world for coaches and instructors.

The New Times