Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno has taken a huge leap after ditching Kenya Police FC job to nurture and develop upcoming young footballers in Siaya County.
The former AFC Leopards player is currently in Bondo sharing his vast knowledge in football to O’king Talent Center based near Ajigo Primary School.
O’king Talent Center is a special secondary school nurturing talent specifically in sports and arts.
Started in 2020, the center currently hubs students who are specifically trained in football and during their debut in the Kenya Secondary School Association games, the school reach the finals of the Siaya County Secondary School games where they lost to Barding 1-0.
Speaking to the Standard Sports, Musa Otieno said he prides in uplifting the young ones as he lobbies towards developing grassroot football.
“As an experienced player and coach am grateful to be able to help young footballers learn the basics. This is a huge step towards developing football at the grassroot level.”
“We need more center like these in every county. Predominantly, majority of secondary schools in the country are academic oriented. We need special schools where not only football but sports is dominant just as academics,” said Otieno.
Otieno is one of Kenya's most successful and decorated footballers, having made his national team debut for Kenya against Zaire in 1993 at the age of 19. He captained The Harambee Stars numerous times. He was also a member of the Kenyan 2004 African Nations Cup team.
Joseph Kwaka who came up with the idea and runs the school said his vision is to help junior talented players from the villages turn professionals and get a chance to play outside the country.
Kwaka said they are working with scouts from European and American Leagues and universities where the best players would be taken for trials and those who don’t make it can start again through playing in the local Premier League.
“It’s a pleasure to do something unique because I believe talent pays. Just as we want them to pass exams, we are centered towards ensuring the students excel in football.”
“We started with football and next year we want to introduce basketball. If in their debut season they reached Siaya County school games finals, what do you think they will do next year? These are the future players of Kenya,” said Kwaka.
Former Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars winger Mike Otieno who took the youngster through shooting drills said discipline, hard work and keeping time is key in a plyers development.
“Respect your coaches as junior and listen keenly. Be disciplined and always arrive before the coach during training sessions. Most importantly, believe in yourself even if you don’t have facilities. Never give up because your day is coming,’ said Otieno.