By George Nonygesa
I shrug into my rain gear, shoulder my pack and splash to the touchline to watch my favourite team Royal Talent Academy take on our arch rivals Musikoma United at Musikoma primary school in Bungoma County. All is well until you dig deep down the players’ roots. The quality of football, the most loved sport in Kenya is without question going down at an alarming rate.
1. Poor Pitches
Just ask who or what is Kenyan football's biggest problem and it surely be a toss-up between wrangling factions and poor pitches. The rugged and rocky fields around the country will surely leave you in disbelief. Kenya is enduring a severe lack of quality playable football fields and overuse of the little standard pitches we have. Nyayo and Kasarani which are by far our best pitches were closed months ago for 'renovations' and just to mention, they can only benefit Nairobi City and its environs. Go upcountry and one will be shocked by our state of soccer fields.
2. Lack of Proper Footballing System
The sad state if player development in the country is all down to lack of a proper football structure. Football giant nations have exploited this and run proper football structures. Stars are bred, trained and brought through the system to a proper final super star product for national coaches to pick on. Kudos to Bob Munro, Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) which is a community development organisation which has worked in tangent with Mathare United. The results are evident. After a relegation scare, Mathare are now up to top four. Players are brought through the system and fed to the senior team. This should be an eye opener to the federation whom I bet don’t even have enough scouts countywide.
3. Lack of Skilled Coaches
Antony Mwangi, Nakumatt's assistant coach in an interview admitted to lack of basic ball handling skills and quick decision making among Kenyan players. There is enogh talent yes, but football is growing and becoming more professional really fast. Kudos to the local coaches in the slums who take greater effort in training and preparing our lads, but we need to pull up and be more professional. The game is now more tactical which needs high levels of training performance and skills input by well-trained coaches to realise full potential of our talented boys and girls.
The Writer is an Administrator at Kenyan Soccer Facebook Page