I really woke up to share memes today; Manchester United won against PSG but that wasn’t going to happen due to the busy day that awaited everyone involved with football in this country; the Kenyan national men football team-the Harambee Stars- was going to have a new coach.
I live for football writing. That’s what pays my bills in this messy town of yours and Ill touch slightly on Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee appointment. First Ill congratulate him. He is one guy who deserves respect. He is an open human being too and one who mingles freely with everyone. As he starts this journey, he will have my backing. But I won’t speak about Mulee as a person, I’d want to dwell on his appointment.
I have said severally that we are short of proper local coaches. The other day when I heard that AFC Leopards was sending coach Anthony Kimani abroad to further his coaching studies I was so thrilled. Those are the moves we need with our coaches. FKF has done well with the coaching courses they’ve rolled over the years but my feeling has been, a few needs to be elevated for those proper badges.
Look around and ask yourself if there is any Kenyan coach who can lead a serious team outside the country the Pitso Mosimanes and the Florent Ibenges of this continent; there is NONE. Francis Baraza is doing well in Tanzania with Biashara United but Biashara isn’t on the same pedestal like Simba or Yanga SC. Ghost has been with Yanga before, and ARP of Rwanda; that’s where the respect I mentioned up there comes from-these are not just any other teams. He deserves that respect.
But Ghost can’t work alone. He needs proper people on that bench to make things tick. I know he’s been conducting coaching courses as an instructor but coaching a national team is a totally different ball game. He needs to be up to speed and that’s where FKF got it wrong. We have capable Kenyans trying to make inroads outside the country in various departments in the football world.
My first stop was with Sos Lukio. Not many of you know him but he has had a stint with the West Ham Academy in the UK; he is currently a scout with EPL side Chelsea FC. That’s the kind of guy FKF should have picked to complement Ghost. He has an eye for talent and that would have been a value-added addition.
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When FKF took over, Stars lacked a proper strength and conditioning coach. They went for Mike Igendia. He had done well with teams in the UK having studied there and the results have been immense (if the player’s words are to be taken in). Those are the kind of appointments you want to see. Football has changed and these are the ingredients needed in a team. Yes, the assistants picked for Ghost are qualified coaches (on paper), but are they conversant with the latest changes in football; hell NO. Just look at how they train the teams they’ve coached of late; nothing near what the national team needs.
Another person who should have been considered is Naythan Din-Kariuki. Dude has just been appointed as the Performance & Recruitment Analyst at Oxford United. He is the guy who will tell you why Eric Ouma is better as a wing-back and not a natural left-back; every serious team has such a person and they work in tandem with the coach; do we have one here? Another No. He’s a Kenyan but his expertise is being used elsewhere when we can easily give him that role here. A chance lost.
The likes of Robert Mambo, John Mo Muruiru and others are doing great in getting those UEFA badges; I hope they are considered by our clubs or the national team; they are all ambitious. We have Nic Kimanthithi who has been with Barcelona for some time now. Young individuals who are making those strides.
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Why are they not considered? This move of recycling old names year in year out isn’t the thing we need if we are to grow and it might be costly for Ghost; not because he is bad but because of decisions I expect him to challenge in the future.
“You get a very short honeymoon period when you start a new job – make it count.”
– Carlo Ancelotti, Quiet Leadership-