Rashid Mahazi: How retired Kenyan footballer is revolutionizing coaching in Australia

Rashid Mahazi (22) unhappy with each other at round 23 of the Hyundai A-League Soccer between Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Melbourne City FC on March 30, 2019 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Rashid Mahazi: How retired Kenyan footballer is revolutionizing coaching in Australia

Festus Chuma 09:07 - 25.04.2024

Former footballer Rashid Mahazi has transitioned to innovative coaching, inspiring thousands with his unique approach and leveraging his extensive professional experience.

Three years ago, former professional footballer Rashid Mahazi made the bold decision to retire from the sport at the surprisingly young age of 28. 

Today, he is capturing the attention of thousands on Instagram with his innovative online coaching sessions.

Mahazi, whose career highlights include winning the A-League Premiership and the FFA Cup with Melbourne Victory, is proving that his passion for the game transcends the traditional boundaries of the pitch.

After an illustrious seven-year career that also saw him aiding Incheon United in the South Korean K League 1, Mahazi faced personal challenges that led him to step away from professional football. 

"I love football – to play it – but the world of football is not something I feel like I fit into completely, and it’s not sort of my space," Mahazi revealed in a candid interview with SBS Sports following his retirement announcement in 2020. 

His decision was partly spurred by the anxiety and the lack of joy he felt playing at the professional level compared to his experiences in the National Premier Leagues (NPL), where he found more enjoyment and fulfillment.

The transition from player to coach seems to have revitalized Mahazi's love for the game. Since September 2023, he has been sharing coaching clips on Instagram that have not only gone viral but have also showcased his deep understanding and innovative approaches to teaching football skills. 

"Football players! If you have not learnt to juggle without backspin you need to start!Also now taking requests for what type of videos you guys want, what things do you need help with? "Mahazi shared in a recent post that has since garnered widespread engagement.

In addition to his social media exploits, Mahazi has joined the coaching staff at the Rowville Sports Academy (RSA) in Australia, the same institution from which he graduated in 2010 and where he is now celebrated as an inductee to their high achievers. 

Mahazi's impact extends beyond coaching as he has also dabbled in music and writing, exploring his creative sides that were perhaps overshadowed during his football career. 

Furthermore, reports have indicated that he once enrolled in psychology at Swinburne University, suggesting a deep-seated interest in understanding human behavior — a skill that undoubtedly enhances his coaching abilities.

The multifaceted career post-retirement reflects not only Mahazi's resilience but also his adaptability in leveraging his profile for new endeavors. 

His brief return to Kenya following the passing of his father in 2017, originally planned as a six-month hiatus but cut short to six weeks, provided him with a renewed perspective and connection to his roots, enriching his personal and professional life.

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