Legendary Matthew Ottamax's warning of dear cost ego deals to young football talents

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FOOTBALL Legendary Matthew Ottamax's warning of dear cost ego deals to young football talents

Festus Chuma 13:00 - 29.11.2023

Former Kenya international reflects on his career and offers valuable insights to young football talents, emphasizing lessons from his own experiences.

Former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Mathew Ottamax has delivered a heartfelt message to the budding talents in Kenyan football, offering sage advice and reflecting on his own journey in the sport.

Ottamax's message comes amidst the backdrop of the ongoing CECAFA Under 18 football tournament, which has been captivating fans in Kisumu and Bungoma.

Kenya's Junior Stars under the guidance of head coach Salim Babu have been making waves in the tournament recently securing their place in the semifinals.

Ottamax commended Coach Salim Babu's leadership, expressing optimism about the future of Kenyan football.

"It could be too soon to talk about Salim Babu's exploits with the Kenya national junior soccer team. What I know is, with his appointment as the youth coach, we are on the right track as a country in glory drought," he stated.

Ottamax emphasized the importance of nurturing young talent, highlighting the need for continuity and guidance throughout their careers.

"Now it's your responsibility to nurture the boys and let them grow with their coach! Isn't it frustrating when at a certain point, when the boys have matured and are ready to represent Kenya at the senior level, we see foreigners with strange nationalities who don't even know the history of these boys?" Ottamax urged.

The Kenyan junior team's journey to the semifinals was marked by a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Rwanda, solidifying their position at the top of Group A.

Ottamax reflected on his own youthful days as a hopeful future Kenyan international, emphasizing the significance of this tournament for the young players.

"The ongoing CECAFA Under 18 has elicited the use of that photo in remembrance of our days as youthful future Kenyan Internationals beaming with a lot of hope only to disappear into oblivion," Ottamax noted.

While praising the young talents and the accolades they have garnered, Ottamax cautioned against the potential pitfalls of early success.

"This can be dangerous to young boys if they are not given proper guidance. Our young players tend to grow horns when accolades are jetting in left, right, and center.

"I'm a very good example of an exceptional talent wasted at a young age because of pride and other negative priorities.

"The juniors should learn a thing or two from their coach Salim Babu. Other than being their technical coach, the juniors should view Salim as a psychological mirror to their successful future by following his history," Ottamax advised.

Addressing the potential pitfalls of fame and adulation, Ottamax cautioned, "I'm reminding you as my children, that many young talents have been washed down the drains within the first year of their careers due to ego, arrogance, disobedience, and for simply thinking they are irreplaceable."

He stressed the importance of remaining grounded and maintaining their dedication to the sport.

"Stay focused, your male fans will come with all sorts of names to extol you, and female fans too will come with sweet names to extort you, but the moment that touch is lost, the name will quickly be turned into a meme on KPL Chat and other social fronts before it is forgotten completely. Be careful!"

With Ottamax's advice echoing in their ears, the young talents have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and chart a path towards a successful and fulfilling football career. 

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