Some people assume that if you were a player, then automatically you are qualified to be a coach. However, that is not always the case. The transition from playing to coaching is a process and needs knowledge.”
The country has been awash with depressing news of ex-footballers who ended up languishing in abject poverty due to neglect once they hung up their boots.
Previous Football Kenya Federation (FKF) administrations have been censured for turning a blind eye to the plight of former players most of whom have had nothing tangible to show for the fame and success they once basked in during their heydays in football.
Glimmer Of Hope
Finally there is a glimmer of hope as the current administration works towards changing the old narrative by initiating a wide range of programs which are geared towards empowering the retirees.
Nick Mwendwa’s administration has so far sponsored a number of former internationals to attend Confederation of African Football (CAF) sanctioned courses.
Kakamega Homeboyz coach Nicholas Muyoti attests to this fact while believing it will go a long way in building the capacity of the former players.
“Some people assume that if you were a player, then automatically you are qualified to be a coach. However, that is not always the case. The transition from playing to coaching is a process and needs knowledge,” says Muyoti.
He agrees that he and his colleagues had a lot to learn from the sessions they attended while pursuing coaching courses facilitated by the federation.
“In this regard, I am glad to have attended the CAF ‘C’ level course with a number of former players. It was very educative and went along way to build our capacity,” he said.
Muyoti goes a step further in suggesting a close working partnership between FKF and coaches’ associations going forward.
Inspired By The High Turnout
His sentiments are echoed by an equally elated AFC Leopards coach Antony Kimani, who says he’s is glad to have been part of the coaching programs. Kimani admits that he has been inspired by the high number of former players who benefitted from courses.
“It was an important training. It has raised our knowledge and put us at another level. Seeing a number of former players undertake the same training was also refreshing. It built their ability to coach even if they are not already doing it now,” said the former Mathare United player.
A Shift From The Past
Former Kenya international and current AFC Leopards Team Manager Thomas Juma also gave the federation a pat on the back for initiating the programs.
“There was a big vacuum as previous regimes never bothered to organize for such courses and most the most recent ones have made a different even at the grassroots level. And when you look at the numbers trained, you realise there are many people and that it will make a big difference in their lives.”
Anthony Viera Akhulia, coach of the newly promoted KPL side Bidco United said he too had learnt new techniques that helped him improve his coaching skills which he applied at guiding his side to a second spot finish in the National Super League last season.
“I benefitted a lot. It has helped me to look at coaching from a different perspective,” said Akhulia who recently helped Bidco to qualify for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
Some of the coaches who have benefitted from the coaching courses FKF has offered in the past four years include Evans Mafuta (Nairobi Stima Asst. Coach), Kanuli Rix (Shabana Asst. Coach), Ibrahim Shikanda (Bandari Asst. Coach), Kinero Abdalla (Modern Coast Asst. Coach), Godfrey Oduor (KCB Asst. Coach).
Others are Charles Okere (Tusker Asst. Coach), Fred Ambani (Wazito Asst. Coach), John Amboko (Nairobi City Stars Asst. Coach), George Maina (Naivas Coach), and Pascal Ochieng (Posta Rangers Asst. Coach), among others.