Home Human Impact Inside the World of Football Coaching: An Interview With M-Pesa Foundation Academy’s George Ouma

Inside the World of Football Coaching: An Interview With M-Pesa Foundation Academy’s George Ouma

by Femme Staff

Some of the most important people in good football are coaches. Men and women tasked with molding players for best outcomes in and out of the pitch. It is coaches who provide mentorship and motivation to players, lead training sessions, schedule team practice runs and work one on one with players based on individual strengths and abilities. Coaches are pretty much guardians or second parents especially to minor players as long as they are in the pitch under their care, or traveling for tournaments.

We caught up with George Ouma, the lead coach of the M-Pesa Foundation Academy football team and got to learn about him, his career progression, and the academy team. They had come to fight it out as one of the finalists for Central Kenya Regional Finals that took place at Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea.

George is an elite coach with 14 years under his belt. He has loved football throughout his life, having played as far high up as the premier league and for Western Stima in Kisumu. He is currently in the process of acquiring a CAF A license, which is the second highest badge that gives him a through pass to coach high level football. Surprisingly, George is also a professional chef, a craft which he practiced to a point of senior chef before football called him back. It is, after all, more active, more fun, and more fulfilling to see his subjects and mentees get better at the game and at life.

It is due to his thorough knowledge and experience in football that the boys of M-Pesa Foundation have come to know and appreciate good football. His work is made easier by the fact that the academy has very good facilities and an administration that supports student talents and extra curriculum activities fully. With this, George is empowered to be at his best to offer quality structured training to his team.

According to George, being a good football coach demands discipline, commitment, and a solid work ethic. Coaching is not just about football. One needs to know how to deal with different people in their different circumstances in life. For instance, some of the challenges he faces are that sometimes kids are down due to factors outside of football, but he is always there to comfort, mentor, and get them in the right frame for studies and games.

George enjoys mentoring because he was also mentored by the one and only Francis Kimanzi, a household name in Kenyan football and a former Harambee Stars head coach. He describes Kimanzi as a great hands-on teacher who is part of the reason he’s where he is today. On the international arena, he admires Arsene Wenger for his principles and brand of football.

To youngsters who are interested in football, George says that the time to try it out is now. It is a potentially high paying venture as we have seen from the likes of Benson Omala, top striker for Gor Mahia. Omala is a product of Safaricom Chapa Dimba and it is for such successes that George appreciates the grassroots tournaments. The scouting, the nurturing, and the building of dreams. He has a special mention for the wearable tech that in use in this phase of Chapa Dimba, which he says has really wowed and encouraged the boys as a tangible representation of their performance in the pitch.

To parents who are holding their children back, he says let the children shine. Kenyan football is turning around and players, including girls, are now signing lucrative contracts. Hear your child out, accompany them to training and matches if you can, and offer parental encouragement which is a huge boost to the kids.  

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