With the World Cup qualifiers resuming next month, football managers need to ensure the team is well prepared to be able to put up a credible performanceBy Otieno Otieno
Kenya's 3-0 win over Libya during an international friendly match played last Wednesday is a major confidence boost for a side that has struggled to win key matches especially away.
Indeed, many football fans cannot remember the last time the national team Harambee Stars won an away match leave alone by such a huge margin.
Before Wednesday's victory, which came courtesy of Dennis Oliech's brace and Paul Were, the team has had to endure with a series of poor results something that turned away even the most faithful supporters.
Star's campaign to feature in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals held in South Africa ended in miserable failure after the team was edged out by Togo in a two legged match.
Stars had won the first leg contest 2-1 in Nairobi but fell to a single goal in the return tie played in Lome, Togo.
The team's World Cup campaign is also on the brink of failure after a poor start against Malawi and Namibia. Despite playing at home, Stars could not go past Malawi as they were held to a barren draw and lost their next match 1-0 to Namibia.
With the World Cup qualifiers resuming next month, football managers need to ensure the team is well prepared to be able to put up a credible performance.
Poor preparation has always dodged the team's campaign as far as anyone can remember during the past regime with the the officials always guilty of not giving the team enough support ahead of crucial fixtures.
The coach should come up with a program and share the same with premier league coaches who will need advance notice to release their players for training. It is a positive move that a meeting involving the national coach and premier league coaches is being planned to iron out this.
Secondly, the federation must sought out the issue of the coach quickly. Since Frenchman Henri Michel quit almost two months ago, his replacement has not come on board as the team continues to be handled by a caretaker coach James Nandwa.
Nandwa has done a wonderful job no doubt and it would have made sense to confirm him in the position because he already understands the players and will need little time to come up with a winning side.
It will not make sense for the federation to hire a coach say two weeks before the team travels to Nigeria. If experience is anything to go by, the new coach will probably want to come up with his own team and may not have the luxury of starting all over again.
Whatever the federation decides, they must hire a coach who will stay with the team for at least three years with the main target being qualification to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The team cannot be changing coaches at such a high rate and still dream that they can do well.
Lastly, team sponsors East African Breweries Limited (EABL) must do more for the side. The three year sponsorship deal by the Ruaraka-based company is woefully inadequate especially because a substantial amount of the sponsorship money still goes back to the firm for marketing purposes.
Better still the federation ought to bring on board a serious sponsor who will take care of the team's every need.