Bundesliga: German football lessons for Kenyan teams

By Bismarck Mutahi in Dortmund, Germany: Monday, April 1st 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Borussia Dortmund now have what they call Footbonaut training facility at their Youth Training Centre. [Courtesy]

While the Kenyan Premier League is still struggling with stadium issues, the German Bundesliga is light years ahead by tapping into technology to improve their game.

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund now have what they call Footbonaut training facility at their Youth Training Centre.

According to the club’s Under-19 coach, Benjamin Hoffmann, the facility is able to instill in players the combination of brain and passing of the ball.

The facility is a small indoor arena with a small pitch in-built and around the square building is a net.

Apart from the net, there are also four corners where the footballs are released at a determined speed to a player standing in the middle of the building.

Each corner of the building is also fitted with lasers that sense the ball and once it has been released the player in play has to think very fast and score the ball at the corner that a laser illuminates in green.

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“This facility helps the players to learn how to pass the ball very fast once it is passed to them from any of the four corners.

“I control the speed of the ball that I release and can either make it fast or slow it. And that is exactly the situation a player is likely to find on a match day,” Hoffmann, explained to a team of African journalists on a tour of Bundesliga on Saturday.

Dortmund is only one of two Bundesliga teams using the facility.

Not even German champions Bayern Munich have acquired the technology.

But one may ask that with the little talent we have in Kenya, wouldn’t the facility help our players do better?

Well, if you are a KPL club official thinking about use of this technology then think again as it does not come cheap. Better invest in own stadium first.

The Footbonaut training facility according to Hoffmann costs upwards of 1 million Euros (Sh113 million) to put up.

Dortmund's Paco Alcacer (right) celebrates scoring against VfL Wolfsburg with Axel Witsel during the German Bundesliga on Saturday. [AFP]

Not even the biggest and most successful club like Gor Mahia can afford.

Besides technology, Dortmund are also putting up more state-of-the-art training grounds, which according to Hoffmann has helped the club bring up some of the best players such as the 2014 World Cup winning hero Mario Gotze.

African journalists were taken around four state-of-the-art training stadiums.

These stadiums are in splendid condition, the kind that makes the newly laid Kasarani grass appear child’s play.

The playing surfaces of these training facilities would make the KPL clubs go green with envy given the poor surfaces they play on.

The powers that be at Tusker, for instance, would do well to come over, perhaps it would shame them into doing something about the eyesore that is Ruaraka Stadium.