Home Sports Young coaches keen to upgrade football standards at grassroots

Young coaches keen to upgrade football standards at grassroots

by kenya-tribune

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 14 – For Maurine Juma, children are the future of the world and as such should be assisted to fulfill their potential.

The Express Soccer Academy coach confesses she has a soft spot for children and would want to leverage on her skills and knowledge to help them become model citizens of the society.

“I love children. I believe the knowledge and skills learned from here is most important equipment I need to make a difference in their lives. My expectation is to walk out of this door a better person and a better coach,” Juma said.

Juma is one of the 30 young coaches who have began a month-long CAF C coaching course in Buru Buru to equip themselves with up-to-date knowledge and skills in coaching as well as ascend up the career ladder.

The course is part of the continental body’s licensing system and a format for evaluating African coaches and injecting professionalism into the practice with the end goal of empowering them to perform at the highest standards.

Juma describes the course as a suitable fit for young coaches, especially female ones, who she notes can one day take charge of the women’s national football team, Harambee Starlets.

“I would also like to challenge my fellow female coaches out there to strive to upgrade their coaching skills and get their licenses. You never know…you might just be the next head coach of the national women’s team, Harambee Starlets,” she says.

Also looking to make a positive impact with the skills acquired from the course is Kibera Black Stars coach Evans Omondi whose side lie third on the National Super League (NSL) with 24 points – the second-tier league in the country.  

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Omondi notes that tutoring a team of Black Stars’ calibre requires one to be conversed with the latest trends in coaching, something he is looking forward to achieving in the next one month.

FKF FIFA instructor Salim Ali takes participants through a session. PHOTO/FKF

“I know that I have to up my coaching standards because I am taking on a big team such as Black Stars who are competing in the second-tier of our local league. From here, I know that I will acquire the knowledge that will be able to take my team higher if I apply them correctly in our training sessions and matches,” he says.

Likewise, former Sofapaka FC player Ronald Okoth is full of praise for the opportunity to undertake the coaching course, noting that coaching presents former players with the chance to continue in the game even after hanging their boots.

“This is a brilliant opportunity because much as some of us have played football and have been in the game for a while, there is still much to learn about the sport. We have been yearning for this opportunity after undertaking the CAF D coaching license. It is very important, mostly for me because I have an ambition of coaching all the way to the top,” Okoth says.

Furthermore, he believes that such seminars stand young and raw-faced footballers in good stead by ensuring that grassroot coaches – under who they will be expected to hone their skills – possess the right kind of knowledge and skills required to mould them into world class footballers.

“It is a great moment because such opportunities are hard to come by. If you look at the grassroots, there are many coaches are looking for that opportunity. And as one of the few who have been able to get that knowledge, we are looking forward to learning and taking that knowledge back to the grassroots and help the future generation,” he explains.

The coaching courses are one of the perks enjoyed by Kenyan football once again after Fifa lifted its nine-month suspension of the country in November last year.

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