Welcome to Kenya, Adel
Dear Adel Amrouche, welcome to Kenya. This is a country that has strived to achieve success on the continental scene with constant failure.
That might sound harsh but it is a cold, hard fact that has seen the nation hire and fire coaches at an alarming rate while on a quest to turn their fortunes around.
I don’t mean to scare you away but to encourage you as you begin this new chapter in your coaching career, with a different nation that comes with overwhelming expectations.
Having covered the national team over the years, I have come across very capable players who keep their dream of donning the national colours alive. Some have made it, some have not and some gave up while others still hold on.
Just take your time and have the opportunity to choose your team the based on merit. Yes, merit.
The path to success will be a tough one. Expect criticism in equal measure as support. You will rise and trip but what matters is that you keep your eye on the ball and constantly be onside, as the rule of the game highlights.
This is not the hardest job in the World but certainly is one of the toughest. For a country whose fans have been deprived of success and have been forced to be fans for other teams during prestigious tournaments, it would be ideal if you at least make them taste glory, even if it’s not to give them the whole deal.
I think they deserve it. In fact, they must have it. There is nothing like constantly sitting on that terrace cheering your favourite team even as the scoreline is not in your favour most of the time.
Kenya has talent. This is not a question that should be put out there for the jury to rule on. How we manage it and nurture is the question. I hope you strike a balance with it.
I’d like you to take a look at what happened to your predecessor and constantly remind yourself what is at stake. It won’t be an easy ride, neither will it be the worst one. Just juggle your skills to your level best and the positive results will come if you have the ferocious will to win.
I won’t criticise you. I will give you a stamp of approval because of “fair play”. You are the coach, I’m the fan. My job will be to monitor your work as I expect the best from the team I always love and support.
Please make this opportunity count and grant the Kenyan fans a chance to relish the supremacy they had a decade ago. It is long overdue and nothing will win you hearts more than to comply with their football wishes.
I believe I have said the little I intended to say. Over to you Adel. Fasten your belt and enjoy your ride.