Dassac F.C of Maroni were deservedly crowned champions of the inaugural Tana River governor’s football championship after their 4- 3 post match penalty win against Old Town of Laza. Though the tournament was hailed as a success, there is no doubt that a lot needs to be done to improve the sorry state of Tana River football and sports in general.
Whether it was due to tactical reasons or stage fright, the final match didn’t live to the expectations of the two teams and neutrals alike. The match simply lacked the aggression and the free flowing football that would characterize such a match. ” !The level of the game was too low, we expect a faster transition of play in the second half….” lamented a fan who was interviewed by a local radio station at halftime. It was not to be: the second stanza was characterized by the same disjointed display witnessed in the first albeit with more clear cut scoring opportunity save for the profligacy of Old downfskipper Said who fired wide on three ocassions when it looked easier to score. Fans had to wait for the second post match penalty kick to see the net bulge.
More needs to be done in coaching before. Before we talk about the players’ output, we must think about the coaching. Not a single coaching clinic has been held with local football federation officials only appearing in football tournaments organised by political leaders. This writer previously gave an example of how a high school sports teacher expressed concern at how what he teaches at school is always unlearned when players show up in their local clubs. ” I always train my number nine to stay on the center back’s shoulder or infront of the two to play a one -two with the runner, in the village they are taught to stick with the last man even when his team is in possession probably so that his teammates can boot the ball upfield and they hold it up or scramble and create a second ball, you can’t succeed when you have a smaller striker.” It is imperative that coaches learn somefundamentals in training so that we are on the same page.
FAKE OFFSIDE TRAP
Defenders stand in a line, with for the through ball, their heads and look at the striker who goes for the ball and lift their hands and wait for the flag. How many times have we seen that? The failure to interpret the offside rule is a failure of coaching. Most cases of football hooliganism have been ocassioned by misinterpretation of rules by players and not poor officiating. The offside rule can simply be interpreted as follows:
“A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
interfering with play
interfering with an opponent
gaining an advantage by being in that position”
Waiting for the ball to be received by the attacker to receive the ball before ascertaining whether they are offside is therefore inaccurate.
Isolated cases of hooliganism in the just concluded and previous tournaments is a blot on our local game. Authorities need to take decisive action against team officials and individuals who are involved. Bringing sanity in the game is paramount.
A society that does not take care of its youth ruins its future. Many of us agree on the abundance of potential in not only football but also in all sports and performing arts. Talent needs to be nurtured. Nurturing talents involves creating the conducive environment for such talent to grow. A lot therefore needs to be done to provide enough stadia and training facilities for sports. A spot check reveals that we only have one public sports facility in Hola town which only caters for football. How many potential rugby, basketball, tennis or even volleyball world beaters have we locked out?
It is my hope that our local football fraternity will come up with more innovative ways to keep our youth off the ‘muguka’ chewing dens and on the playgrounds available in a continuing league instead of waiting for the next act of benevolence from a politician.
If player number 9 of team A is called for offside then from the resultant free kick, number 5 of team B shoots directly at team A’s goal and scores, what would you call as a referee? Is it a goal? Five reasons for your answer.
Have a thoughtful week.