Chapa Dimba: Coach Bellamy speaks out on how Coast champions Yanga is fairing during the Covid period
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Chapa Dimba: Coach Bellamy speaks out on how Coast champions Yanga is fairing during the Covid period

On Sunday, December 10 2019, Yanga FC beat Kaya Stars 4-0 to win the Boys Coast Regional Finals. Yanga FC won the title after a second-half blitz that saw them beat Kaya Stars from Kaloleni 4-0.

Mohamed Awadh gave Yanga an early lead with a goal in the 3rd minute and Kaya was unable to capitalize on their chances to draw the game level at the break. In the second half, an early goal from Ali Mohammed in the 47th minute and a Lemmy Julo double in the 53rd and 70th minute sealed the title for Yanga.

On Friday, 13th March 2020, Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom postponed the remaining matches until further notice. There are two regional finals to be Determined-Western Region and Nyanza before the National Finals can take place.

Before the matches resume, Dimba spoke to Abel Bellamy-the coach of Yanga FC on how both he and the team are faring.

  • Please introduce yourself

My name is Abel Bellamy and I am the coach of Yanga FC. I used to play for a team called Umati in Malindi and a German coach told me that I had the knowledge to become a coach and stop playing. Since then I moved on and got coaching accreditation to become a coach. He gave me the knowledge and motivation to become a coach.

  • Are you and all your players and coaching staff, safe and healthy

Yes, they all are. One of my players was participating in trials in Kakamega and was not able to travel back before the lockdown was announced. Another player is in Lamu and he is safe. They are both safe.

  • How are you keeping in touch with your players now

I am keeping in touch with the players by communicating with them daily via phone calls or Whatsapp in order to ensure that everyone is remaining upbeat.

  • Are there any members in groups of two or three training together with social distancing rules of course?

Yes, some players who live near each other are training in the mornings only in groups of two or three. We do not train in the evenings. I send them exercises they can do on Whatsapp and they do them together while still maintaining social distancing in line with the government directives.

  • Do you speak to the other Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom coaches?

Yes, we have a coaches group on Whatsapp and we collectively keep each other’s spirit up. We speak on issues affecting us as teams and how the players are faring.

  • What preparation would you need in order to be ready for the National Finals?

I have seen globally that the Bundesliga, La Liga and English Premier League are back. For us, we are considering that some of the players are students and the parents would like them to concentrate on school (e-learning). If the scheduling of matches were in June/July, I would need to get other players to replace those who are in school and the rules may not allow it.

I would need time to get the team training again as a group in order to be ready for the National Finals.

  •  How are the players faring now with the benefit of the mentorship sessions?

My players are very motivated. Last year we did not make it to the regional finals so to be one of the teams that could take part in the national finals is very encouraging. Additionally, when they see themselves on TV they tell all their friends and family about it and are very proud.

  • Are you doing any other activities at this time – aside from coaching instructions?

I am now helping my friend who runs a business with Finance issues as I have a degree in Finance. I am also doing e-learning with students in Form 3 and Form 4 hence I am still busy during this time.

  • How has taking part in Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom changed you and the players?

I am feeling more like a mentor now as I provide advice to other coaches who are not in the competition. They look up to me as a coach who has a team that made it to the National Finals. Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom has led me to engage with people who I normally would not. I also get to provide coaching instructions to their team because of this platform.