Coach pin-points drawbacks to local players turning pros

Lack of explicit soccer programmes to groom young players, poor coaching, several inadequacies in Tanzania’s school curricula, lack of long-term goals and basic education on the side of players have been cited as the major factors behind Tanzanian players’ failure to become professionals in high profile soccer clubs.

A lecturer with The Open University of Tanzania (OUT), Syllersaid Mziray, made the observation this week when presenting at a two-day workshop in Dar es Salaam.

The workshop was organised by Keen Arts under the sponsorship of Vodacom for sports writers and editors.

According to Mziray, no nation in the world can expect to have good and professional players if such a community has no explicit programmes to groom young players.

He said Tanzanian schools that should have served as institutions for grooming young soccer players downplayed sports in 1990 after the government scrapped them, a decision which should have never been made.

“If physical education has ceased to exist as a subject in the country`s curricula and most schools are established without sporting facilities for children, how young players can be groomed?” he queried.

He said since almost all soccer players are `incidental`, professionalism will never be realised. Mziray who doubles as coach said all Tanzanian players lack self realisation and are easily contented by cheap goals.

“The worst part of the story is that such ‘incidental players’ are trained by some incompetent domestic coaches who are just mere ex-players. Even most foreign coaches in the domestic clubs come from countries whose leagues do not attract foreign players,” he added.

In addition to those factors, the lecturer said the dismal performance of the national team (Taifa Stars) contributes to the players’ failure to feature in high profile leagues.

“Poor performance of the Stars in different regional and continental competitions has decreased the country’s players visibility to the outside world,” he said.

Other resource persons were Richard Mgamba, a two-times award winning journalist and Managing Editor of The Guardian on Sunday, National Sports Council Chairman Col (RTD) Iddi Kipingu, Deputy Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports Juliana Matage Yasoda, Athletics Tanzania (AT) Secretary-General Sulemani Nyambui, a seasoned editor in the East African Region Joachim Buwembo, Vodacom Head of Sponsorship and Marketing George Rwehumbiza and Tanzania Football Federation technical director Sunday Kayuni.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY

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