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November 13, 2018

After this, only fresh leadership can uplift Kenya’s soccer status

Football Soccer - Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group F - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 24/11/15 Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey on the bench before the match Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Football Soccer - Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group F - Emirates Stadium, London, England - 24/11/15 Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey on the bench before the match Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

I receive the Arsenal Newsletter in my inbox once a week and have been doing so since I registered with them more than a decade ago.

This week the top headlines were about Aaron Ramsey returning for the first team, the under 21s coming from a goal down to beat Brighton, the under 18s drawing with West Ham and the fact that nine members of the Arsenal women’s team represented their countries on international duty.

Now it wasn’t so much the results that caught my eye but the fact that professional clubs in Europe have such professional structures with all levels of football being played at the same time. I felt extremely jealous as a Kenyan because here it’s such a distant dream when it comes to growing football from the bottom up. I don’t believe there’s a single club in Kenya that has structures as efficient as this. An under 21 side; an under 18 side and a woman’s team. Oh that would be such a dream!

In two week’s time we go into an FKF election. I have heard what many of the candidates running have proposed to do to ensure football is enjoyed at many levels in this country and I just hope the delegates vote wisely on the 14th of December. I’m a little torn between two of the candidates who are running because I think both would do a pretty decent job. Nick Mwendwa has a great plan which if executed would take our football to the next level; while Ambrose Rachier has done a commendable job at Gor Mahia. He isn’t greedy and really wants to see our football go to the next level. I wish these two candidates had joined forces because then there would be absolutely no chance of the incumbent coming back!

As much as I commend NTV for holding a National Football debate, popular opinion really doesn’t matter in the national football elections. The wider population doesn’t vote so we can hate as much as we want but if we haven’t registered with a club and voted for our own officials, then our opinion means nothing! In fact Sam Nyamweya was missing from the Football debate and one critic said he was probably meeting with the delegates at the same time – the same delegates who will vote on the 14th of December. This is really frustrating and once again I say our government needs to come in and rescue the game once and for all.

But now on to happier things and the fact that I’ll be interviewing one of my idols this afternoon. Barclays Premier League and Arsenal legend Robert Pires will be in the country courtesy of Barclays. He’s here to help launch a Barclays Bank youth employment initiative that will be run in conjunction with the Mathare Youth Sports Association, MYSA; and he’s a “reward” to Barclays customers in a campaign the bank has been running over the past three months! Am I excited to interview a critical member of the invisibles! Well excitement is an understatement! Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter and www.facebook.com/CarolRadull

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