Pride and indiscipline have been cited as main factors that contribute to the sudden downfall of Kenyan footballers.
Speaking during ‘On the Pitch’ radio talk show hosted by Diblo Kaberia on Radio Jambo, the two tacticians Sammy Pamzo Omollo (Posta Rangers) and Antony Kimani (AFC Leopards SC) said most of the young players suffered from pride and indiscipline.
“The moment fans begin to heap praises on them on social media, and they start seeing their pictures featured on the pages of local newspapers they become instantly proud and disregard instructions from their coaches. This affects their performance on the pitch,” said Pamzo.
He was responding to a concern raised by Kaberia who sought to know why local coaches were hesitant to field young players usually identified during school games.
Pamzo said that most of the players were not yet ready for top-flight soccer by the time they were being scouted from schools, adding that they lacked the perquisites needed to enable them to perform satisfactorily on the big stage.
He advised local players to exercise patience and gain experience fast by playing in the lower divisions instead of rushing to the top tiers where they usually found it hard to make it to the first team due to cut-throat competition.
“During our days, we would first participate in the division two and one leagues where we gained loads of experience that gave us great expertise to participate in the top tiers,” he said.
Kimani said that he had to fight extra hard to fend off competition from players who had already consolidated their slots in the national team for him to penetrate the ranks.
“As a center back, I competed for playing time with the likes of Pascal Ochieng, George Owino and Edgar Otieno. It was not easy to seat them on the bench,” said Kimani.
He said that peer pressure was partly to blame for the dwindling performance witnessed in players who initially had been considered to be having a promising future.
“The moment they start earning an income from soccer, they abandon their humble past and get into new circle of friends who influence them negatively to think about women and alcohol,” said Kimani.
Pamzo further advised footballers to be punctual during training.
“Most of our players have a problem with keeping time. If you you tell them that the session will begin at 8 in the morning, that’s the time they turn up. A good player should be at the venue at least an hour earlier,” he said.
The show usually goes on air every Sunday from 2 pm.