April 2, 2015 By @frishee
The last week of training was a week of emotions and new things for me. It was a week that I experienced lots of the vices of the game and some virtues and new experiences. It was a week of the good, the bad and the ugly for me.
I will start with an experience that I really enjoyed. As you know, I train with lads and a few other ladies join at times but I am mostly alone. However, this week I got to train with a ladies’ football club and not just any football club but a team that is doing quite well in the Kenyan Ladies Premier League. It was a great experience to play for about 3 hours with the girls. They are immensely talented. I think they could easily take on any men’s team and run out winners. It was only my second experience on artificial turf (which I hate) and I ended up busting my hamstring and worsening a groin injury that I had before but it was an amazing experience. I’ll be joining the girls whenever I can and hopefully get to feature in a game or two.
Anyway, back to the dust. The training was going well until the injuries ruled me out for one week. However, the days that I did make it I enjoyed the pleasure of ball and the beauty of scoring. (I was back on the score sheet after a two week break). The week was a tough one though. I realized that the game can be ruined by some vices that shouldn’t really be there.
Jealousy: I told you about the player we had acquired from one of our local rivals. A top striker in the local games and really an asset for the team that has his services. However, his transfer was made difficult by his former coach. The man intentionally misses the office sessions on Mondays so as to avoid signing the release form. The young lad comes for training every day and gives his best yet he cannot play because of the jealousy of a person. Luckily, we got the transfer sorted and he can feature in the next game and the next and the next.
Alcoholism: I’m not sure if the term alcoholism is right but I will use it anyway. This is mostly a problem during matches. The problem affects the players and the fans. The players go out drinking and the team is left missing one or two players and this greatly affects the team, especially if defenders are involved.
The fans and alcohol can only result into two things: violence and hooliganism. The last couple of weeks, all of the team’s matches have been marred by violence and hooliganisms. The kind of insults hurled at the opponent’s players and the referee cannot be repeated even in hell. The hooliganism has cost the team points as we were deducted points because of the fans beating up an opponent’s player.
Football in the community should be a source of hope for the lads who may have no other place to go or a source of enjoyment and entertainment for both the fans and the players. However, it feels like it gives a reason for taking alcohol and causing unnecessary fights and damage. I hope this culture changes soon before it takes a life.
Sexism: This is a personal problem. This I go through often but only from one or two players. These players wouldn’t pass the ball to me if I was the only one on their team. These players even take the ball from my feet using hand-offs, interceptions or whatever means they can use to deny me the ball despite the fact that we are on the same team. They believe that their weaker foot is better than both my feet combined. Initially, I used to get hurt but I realized that they are the ones with the weakness. Most of the players notice and they speak out and I appreciate this. However, you can’t change a person who doesn’t even see. I hope that the men who are out there who are out there who believe that because they have man parts makes them better than women realize just how wrong they are. To quote the words of a very wise person, “There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or a vagina. All other jobs should be open to everyone.”
The ball is round. Whichever way you look at, it is the same. And just like there is no predetermined right way to play the game, there is no right gender for the game.
Till next time, cheers!