As I hurried through the gates of Parklands eager to catch at least the second half of the friendly match I had no idea of what awaited me. My goal had been simply to catch an interview with another Parklands maestro and feature him for the next week. I had planned on three candid interviews. Hastily signing the entrance book I was immediately accosted by the PSC guards and requested not to enter the premises. “Umekuja na Yesu” they asked. I shook my head. “basi hakuna haja uingie, ni Yesu tu anaweza tuokolea,” they then whispered the scoreline which was more than Manchester was to receive in a few hours. I could not believe my ears and had to rush and be a witness. The truth is that “Siku ya nyani kufa miti yote huteleza,” and as a walked down the running track I was just in time to witness a goal shuffle and a goal being popped at the back of the net. There was no celebration from the opponents who were shouting “ingine” I could only assume that the watchmen had lied to me and the opponents were chasing the game and PSC leading. It was clear the pace of the game was high with hard passes and tackles occurring. A young midfield of Johnny, Chubar, and Karani were fighting for their lives. Experienced player Kamdam was on the touchline looking like he is about to accompany Lutta to Milan enter into the fray, Zlatan was waiting for an opportunity to dive into the match, Mutua’s eyes were on phone and not giving his eagles' eyes assists, but it was the complete joy and happiness on team manager Ogochee that was unnerving. When he is that happy it is either a wedding or a funeral, the question is whose. When the score was confirmed I turned back to confirm that the Koroga zone had been locked up for renovation. “mtoto hafai kuona uchi wa mzazi”. The bench had been too hot to seat and everyone waited patiently for the final whistle. “mwana ni wako hata akiwa mwendawazimu bado ni wako” Man United fans preferred to walk off their stadiums when the Salah scored the first hat trick in Old Trafford since Christiano Ronaldo in 2003, but PSC players cheered on as on form Doobiz scored another goal to create a respectable scoreline. It was clear that I was not to get any interviews today and instead sat back to enjoy an entertaining match.
In summary, every mistake was punished and several were made, a Gonzalo own goal, thrown Captains armbands, players slacking off, Zlatan making his first sliding tackle in five years albeit surprising even himself. When it goes bad it really goes bad. But a game that was only lost because the opponents had greater stamina in the end. Such games are great as it tests every player and requires players to go beyond their comfort zone, to run more, to be more skillful, to make better decisions and to improve their general game. We can learn a lot from a team that provided a team sheet before the game, was warmed up an hour before the game, and had an invigorating warm down. It was clear in the end that “Cha mkufuu mwanafuu ha,na akila hu, cha mwanafuu mkufuu hu, na akila ha.”