The painting at the entrance of Afraha stadium sheds light on who owns the football tag of Nakuru County. Ulinzi Stars arguably the most successful KPL side from the Rift Valley in the last few years just does not exhibit football talent in the force- it’s the perfect face of football and discipline.
In its strict military manner and style having to deal with the pressures of top flight football for them hasn’t just been challenging in the recent past but also been a cause for need for change in most departments.
While Ulinzi can’t be said to be the best/worst run in the country, the comfort and stability of representing a military side provides a cushion beyond a players footballing years. But with the ever changing dynamics, change too has been a good accompaniment.
For long so many Kenyans didn’t think it was coming or even saw it, but appreciating the traditions of the force and understanding the strict ways of dealing in such an environment is key.
For a while it would be unthinkable having to watch Ulinzi Stars in a sponsor’s name at the front or a civilian coach in it’s ranks. Credit to the chairman and the administration for allowing the two most promiscuous in our eyes happen.
It’s not just an exhibition of a team meant and serious for success, it’s the best justification for anyone out there who dares to dream. Dares to dream to one day represent this side (not just as coach, maybe even more). Hopefully this isn’t just meant to be the last but a starting point- the first circumvention in a series of a hopefully non-ending quest for success and glory.
The background surely does support it, competing against the best deserves the best too- but the Millitary rules in all honesty might never be bent on this.
How Ulinzi Stars who currently just pick their players from within the force are able to compete in a League where teams go as far as Burundi and Nigeria to pick talent is absolutely incredible.
In a world of results, you will also agree with me that Ulinzi’s Salim Ali got a lot to handle in his small world. With a fixed group of players to choose from and abilities to work with and try to churn out the best, it does not need just patience from the coach and fans, it too needs a patient administration.
For every single change in detail, change in approach and change in personnel, Ulinzi Stars got to realise that the results in a game of football matter now more than anything else.
While abolishing the military ways may never work in totality- a quicker spin of reel might point towards professionalization of the playing Unit even if it means having to import from ‘the civillians’. At a time when FKF would love to communalise all football clubs (never sure how that works out though)- Ulinzi Stars with a strong Nakuru Support, strong financial position and sound leadership would thoroughly do well with a much mixed up outfit of players.
See, the military background would create a bench mark for service and discipline- the professional aspect of the game shall have not been lost in any form. Isn’t that a perfect way of running a club, a model that can work? certainly, yes.
The signs certainly are encouraging, the will gradually growing in steps- might take a while but for an ever competitive outfit; it might soon be here with us. For now, the question remains- how long does the renaissance take to materialize, does it grind to a halt? (certainly not)- For now everything is worth the wait.