Two Al Ahly tidbits today as they cruise their way to more championships.
First off, coach Manuel Jose said his players are bored after a hard season. Must be nice to have time to be bored, eh?
The Portuguese coach, who's team is in the running to win a treble this season (Egyptian Premier League, Egyptian Cup and The African Champions League), said "The following period will be very difficult for us, the players are physically consumed and they are starting to get bored.
"The continuous local and continental commitments will definitely harm our players and the national team as well, because the players had no rest for two seasons.
"If we reach the cup final, it will be on July 2nd, just one week after a Champions League game, so the new season starts before the current season ends."
Seems like Africa's most acclaimed team is starting to feel similar pressures to European powerhouses like Manchester United & Real Madrid, who must contend with year-round club schedules and player commitments to national squads. After a World Cup year, where player's holidays were cut short, rest is critical. Doesn't look like Al Ahly's players will get one for the interim.
But Ahly's close to one championship, the Egyptian Premier League. And they can win it this Sunday for the third consecutive time if they win at home against Al Gaish.
Victory by Ahly over the army club will put the Cairo giants into an insurmountable lead with three matches left in the season and hand yet another title to the all-world club under the reign of Mr. Jose.
It will be their 32nd title in the 50 years since the Egyptian domestic league was launched. They have also won 54 major cup titles in Egyptian, African and Arab competitions and claim a further 14 other trophy successes. That tops Real Madrid, eh?
I'd like to take my hats off to Kelvin Jayanoris, writer of the Kenyan football blog
Obviously, I'm very touched by a recent article he posted about this site.
But more than that, I'm motivated and re-invigorated by his passion for the African game.
First off, Kelvin is a 21-year old mechanical engineering student from Nairobi. Seeing there was little information about Kenyan football on the internet, Kelvin decided to start his own blog, 'because I wanted to do something for Kenyan Football, to help it grow in any way.'
Kelvin collaborated with other people on the site. But when they couldn't write anymore, Kelvin ran the site alone. This proved to be too much. His enthusiasm for the site waned and he almost shut it down. As Kelvin put it on the blog:
As you may have noticed, I have not updated this blog for a while and generally I am not as enthusiastic as I used to be. This is due to several reasons:
-My original partners in this blog have all left
-I am very busy with school and other things and now that I run this blog alone, the workload is sometimes too much
-I am about to leave the country and will not be able to maintain it
-Kenyan Football is full of politics and is generally very disheartening and disappointing
I was considering deleting this blog but I still have 'feelings' for it and would hate to see it go.
Something about what he said in his blog caught me. The disenchantment with the Kenyan game, the disappointment he felt because of the corruption and politics involved. This feeling almost led him to quit the site.
But people like Kelvin are precisely what African football needs. It needs people that care, that are willing to sacrifice time for the greater good, that have passion and can speak for the speechless.
Heck, it's not just African football that needs people like this. The world in general needs more Kelvins!
I rallied some troops together and along with his regular readers, encouraged Kelvin to continue his good work. I'm happy to say the site is still running.
Please do yourself a favor and check out Kelvin's Kenyan Football site. It's well worth your time.
And if you're passionate about the game out there, he's looking for help.
If you have a voice, raise it up. Remember, it's not just football that needs you. The world does.