February 26th 2018

Sports / In-Depth

Current football leaders deserve credit for Starlets' turnaround

The journey to the current situation in the women's soccer in the Kenya was one that was rough and unpredictable.

By Thomas Matalangatmatalanga@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 26 Oct 2016 20:55 EAT

The Starlets celebrate after a goal. (Photo: Courtesy/Starlets Facebook page)

The recent performances by the Kenya national women's football team should be a clear sign of how swiftly the female side of football is growing. The facts vividly illustrate the current state of women's footbal in the country. Qualifying for the Women's Africa Cup of Nations set to be held from the 19th of November to 3rd December in Cameroon is by far the most commendable achievement among the huge list of achievements.

The same could not be said a few years ago when the starlets were languishing mismanagement, corruption and low standards. The question that many would ask is, "Who initiated the change?" The journey to the current situation in the women's soccer in the Kenya was one that was rough and unpredictable. Infact one of the very core issues that affected the female side of Kenyan football is due to the fact that the Football Kenya Federation or rather its former officials predo0minantly put sole focus on the men's team thus, leaving the women's team at the mercy of well wishers and general enthusiasts of women's football.

However, with the new officials recently elected to head the federation, the face and state of women's game has significantly changed from a sorry state. As a result the women have shown they can achieve moe than their male counterparts. All the starlets needed was a system to harness and nurture raw talent that was previously wasting away in the grassroots. Nick Mwenda's positive approach to the issue is a major factor that played well in making the starlets grow so much within a short span of time.

Being the chairman of FKF, Mwenda has set out a clear-cut strategy to make the standards of the game in Kenya better, regardless of gender. It is even more enterprising for FKF under his stewardship to revive the women's premier league. This is a clear platform from which talent can be identified, developed and nurtured to exceptional standards. Kenyan women's football should gradually improve with such avenues made available.

The starlets will soon be heading to Cameroon for the continental Showdown. They go there with hopes of lifting the continental women's football title, but regardless of whatever results they post they should know that they have the backing of their federation and fans. The ball is now in their court, there is room for further development of the women's game. All they need to do is make ample use of the opportunities to leave a legacy that will be emulated by future players.

Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.

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