YOUNG Africans’ decision to sack their Head Coach Cedric Kaze over the weekend shocked me to the core. Yes, I was shocked because I don’t understand why they reached the decision they reached.
Was the coach and his technical bench responsible for the results? My answer is an affirmative no. it is an affirmative no because this is the man who lost the match for the first time since the start of the league. Yes, he had draws, at least four. But you don’t sack the coach for such a performance.
His last match was against a team that had not less than four former Young Africans players some of whom are said to have had an axe to grind with their former employers. In fact, given the way the four plus former Young Africans players are reported to have been handled, I had personally expected a very difficult match for Young Africans.
But the fact that they drew, but did not lose the match is a credit to the coach. But I know why they sacked one of the most decorated coaches in the region. It is pressure from their arch soccer rivals, Simba, pressure which if you asked me, is misplaced because it does not come from the Mainland Premier League, but outside the local league.
Young Africans management should be advised not to entertain pressure from outside the league. It does not have anything to do with their team. After all, they are not taking part in the Champions League! Besides, it takes a long time to build a team.
The Burundian tactician was, in my opinion, already doing very well with the team. But if the management were dissatisfied with his handling of the top flight team, then they could have simply removed him from the top team and confined him to the handling of the club’ soccer academy, where the Burundian is reported to have massive experience having had a stint with Barcelona and Germany soccer teams at that level.
In fact, had I had influence in the Simba management, I could have asked them to take the Burundian on board for their planned establishment of a soccer academy. Our clubs need to start thinking hard over establishment of soccer academies if they want to do well in competitive continental soccer tournaments, a subject I will come back to later.
But for Young Africans management, they need to exercise patience when it comes to building a strong, good team. You cannot build a team in one season. We all saw the years that Liverpool took to get where they are, English Premier League champions and formally UEFA Champions League king pins and world club cup champions.
But they are now not doing well. Why? Fatigue is one of the problems. Their German tactician would now have to do what he did to get his team where it was, a global soccer champions. Yet Liverpool owners are not even talking about sacking the coach. Because they know where Jürgen Klopp had taken the team from.
Simba is another case in point. Since the start of their champions league campaign they have not lost away from home! One may say, ahh, they have very good, foreign players. Fine. But this is not the first time that they have had foreign players. Simba have had foreign players for several decades.
Yet they have not done the way they are doing at present in the on-going champions’ League. The answer is that they have learnt their mistakes in the course of building their team. Of course, Simba have also been sacking their coaches. But for me, the Burundian should have been retained to help the club in establishing and running their soccer academy.
When you talk about soccer academy, many Tanzanians look and view you as a lost person. But for those who had the opportunity to viewing the just ended U-20 Afcon soccer tournament would understand why were bundled out of the tournament in its preliminary stages.
We were knocked out very early in the tournament because the bulk of our players are street trained footballers. That tournament was not for street produced soccer players, but rather for soccer academy produced players. That is why our Ugandan counterparts reached the final. The bulk of their players were not street produced players.
They were soccer academy produced players. In fact, the Ugandans can now simply turn their team into the new Uganda Cranes and they will have absolutely no problems in continental soccer tournaments.
What the Ugandans now need is to provide their new Afcon finalists with as many friendly matches as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the next senior Afcon tournament. I would not also be surprised if they qualified for the next Fifa World Cup finals.