SALOU, Spain, May 15 –The 10-day training camp in Salou, Spain has left sweet memories for the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom All-Stars team, with the squad wishing it could not end after gaining from the La Liga coaches who took them through various trainings.
The team returns home a different side compared to when they left thanks for the professional sessions they were taken through that covered mentally, physically and emotionally.
For majority it was a dream come true after boarding the plane for the first time and to ice the cake, they got a life time opportunity to tour Camp Nou Stadium and watch a live match where Lionel Messi led his charges to a 2-0 victory over Getafe in a La Liga match.
The treat did not stop there as the team also toured the Espanyol Stadium, getting the opportunity to have a feeling of top professional successful clubs in Europe.
Speaking to Capital Sport, Marion Iddi, a player from Al Alhy boys team in Kajiado, outlined that he is aspiring to return back to Europe to play professional football and help national football team Harambee Stars succeed.
“I have gained a lot, the coaches were good and also learnt from my team-mates too. The training has improved my skills, I now see myself a different person compared to when I came here,” Iddi, who looks up to Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas as his role model revealed.
He added; “I have had good time, going to Camp Nou and Espanyol is a dream come true though the food is different from ours in Kenya. The pitches are out of this world compared to other stadiums, when I return to Kenya I want to be a role model to my fellow team-mates,” Iddi who dreams for playing for Real Madrid narrated.
His All-Stars team-mate Enock Wanyama had the same experience too, signing out the tour at Camp Nou as his best moments.
“It has been amazing touring Camp Nou and watching a game there live, seeing Messi was unbelievable, I never thought I will be here but thanks to football here I am. Espanyol is also a good stadium and has good environment. We will be looking back and reflecting that we have made a mile stone as players from this trip,” Wanyama, South B United player narrated to Capital Sport.
“Training has helped us to know that we need to work as a team, pass the ball and be patient to create chances, for me I have learnt that I need to hold the ball and make quick decisions,” he added.
Wanyama , who is looking up to his name sake, Harambee Stars skipper and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama as his role model, is now focusing on inspiring his South B United from Nairobi region lift the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Nationals scheduled for June in Meru.
“Back to Kenya, my concentration is winning the nationals because all the attention will be on me since I was in the All-Stars team so I want to prove them wrong that my selection was not by fluke was not a fluke by putting to practice what we have learnt here in Spain.”
Her corresponding girls counterpart, King Lady Joy from Kwale Starlets is eying a selection in the national women’s football team, Harambee Starlets.
“Experience gained here will help me thrive in football, I have improved in my skills, technique. Life is good in Spain the only challenge is food, the weather is also good and environment appealing not like Kenya,” she expressed.
“I want to return in Europe to play football because its more professional, the pitches are good.”
With only two Kenyan coaches managing to get the opportunity to travel to Spain, they were grateful to pick new ideas that will help them improve Kenyan football.
“I have learnt a lot since training sessions are totally different compared to Kenya, as a coach I have gained a lot than the players and I will give the experience learnt back to the society especially now that we are heading to nationals,” All-Stars ladies coach Pauline Awour said.
“I am going to give my experience, tactical and skilful wise to my fellow coaches in Kenya as well,” she added.”
Her male counterpart Tedd Amusala reavealed that he is hoping to take the coaching on a higher level and his wish is to improve the state of Kenyan football in terms of positive results.
“I want to stop some types of training and make to practice what I have learnt in Spain like the game approach, team formation, keeping balance in defence allowing the players to think and solve the situation,” Amusala who is aiming to win the national title with his boys team from Western stated.
“I have also picked that the diet the players take do have an impact in their performance in the pitch, back at home players are used to taking heavy meals, they need to avoid that especially before the game,” he added.
“In life I want to prepare a team that will play one system that is building from the back, covering spaces, have balance in the defence and the creativity of the players, they should be able to think first on and off the ball.”
The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom All-Stars team was selected by scouts from La Liga coaches from the eight regions in Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley, Eastern, North Eastern, Central, Coast and Nairobi.
The team is scheduled to return home Thursday night from Spain to join their respective teams ahead of the nationals slated for June in Meru County.
-Alex Isaboke is reporting from, Barcelona Spain –
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