NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno says he still dreams to return to the national team set up in a managerial capacity as head coach, having had several stints as an assistant coach before.
In an exclusive interview with Capital Sport, Otieno says he is working to earn more his coaching credentials, as an improvement to the qualifications he already has from the German DFB.
“I dreamed of playing for the national team and I achieved that and went on to be the captain. My dream now is to be a head coach one day and this is something that is really close to my heart. I am working on my badges and qualification, soon I hope I can achieve that dream,” Otieno said.
He added; “I have been to South Africa both as player and coach and I have also played in the United States. I have come back home to give back to the community and I believe I have been gathering enough experience to help me.”
Otieno was first an assistant coach in 2011 with Zedekiah Otieno as interim head coach and also had a stint working under former coach Stanley Okumbi who was shown the door and handed the junior teams after public pressure.
The ex-skipper has however not gone back to management but has put his attention to working in the grassroot with his organization ‘Kick Off to Hope’.
At the same time, Otieno has lauded the current managerial set up in the national team, saying they have done well to improve the team and especially seeing them return to the Africa Cup of Nations last year.
“Kudos to the team there because they are doing a good job. The success of any Federation is usually on how the national teams perform and so far we have both the men and women’s teams playing at AFCON and we should see more,” said the former center-back.
He has also called on the Federation to empower more youth leagues in the country to ensure that talent is tapped from the grassroot moving up.
“We need to have corporates put in more into the game especially in the grassroot. We also need to see fans back to the stadium and this needs all of us from the Federation down to work together for the good of the game,” Otieno stated.
With his Kick off To Hope organization, the former Santos FC player hopes to inspire a new generation of players by giving them an opportunity to showcase and improve their talent.
“At the moment, we have close to 150 players in the set up and we want to ensure that we give them a chance to showcase their talent, to grow and also to improve in life skills. Most of them come from poor backgrounds and football can be their place to improve their lives and their families as well,” he noted.
“This is the community that gave me everything and several other players too and that is why I decided six years ago that I need to come back home and invest in the youth.”
Otieno says they plan on building up a centre where they will house elite academy players complete with schools as well.
He currently trains his players at the Dr. Krapf Primary School.