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Mtaa Fc Building a Football Town One Goal At A Time.

Mtaa Fc Players Pose for a team photo. Photo||Courtesy
By Augustine Njenge || December 14th 2016

The industrial town of Thika is seen as the home of football giants at the elite level with teams such as Thika United Fc and Bidco United Fc dominating news headlines, however little or no attention is paid towards grass root teams such as Mtaa Fc. 

Mtaa Fc is a community based club founded in June 2015 with the purpose of bringing young people from within Thika  sub county together to fight negative vices such as drug abuse, crime. The little known club is currently leading the Thika Sub Branch league with only 5 matches to go and almost 20 points clear.

For the past 1 year, Evans Okalo aka Wemba https://www.facebook.com/wemba.twins has been a tireless volunteer and Head Coach for Mtaa Fc in Thika Sub County. "When the idea to revive this team was floated to me, I did not hesitate, as a former Harambee Stars and Thika United Fc Player, I knew it was time to give back to my community," said Evans.

There is much debate in Kenya over the need for more funding of grassroots football as well as debate over the number of local based players regularly being approached by major teams in the Kenya Premier League Clubs in the starting line up for Premier League clubs. 

"This is a culture I would like to fight as a coach, I have seen local teams recruit players from far way regions ignoring the potential that grass root teams such as Mtaa Fc, in the UK for instance almost every community has a football team and the English Premier League is the most watched and lucrative league in the world, why can't local teams follow suit?" asks Evans

Veteran Footballer and Club Chairman Francis Mutahi Kimani argues," that if we neglect the impact that community football has in the nurturing of talents in the grass roots we fail as a society, I am an example that football in the grass roots can impact lives, too bad parents have a negative attitude towards football,we cannot fight negative vices such as drug abuse, crime and the like if we do not nurture our children who have created an interest in football."

"The benefits of grassroots football and the best methods to cultivate a strong football culture at the community level, can be witnessed through the success of teams such as Mtaa Fc,"according to Simon Ngugi aka Simple Simon the Secretary General. "We have been able to maintain a clean sheet of wins as team despite our financial short comings, through this team we have witnessed the lives of most young people within Thika change we therefore appeal to well wishers and fans of Mtaa Fc to assist us in whichever way they can.

"Playing for Mtaa Fc has been of much help to me I have improved  my skills as a goal keeper for the last 3years with this team and my 10 years a career goal keeper, by avoiding negative influences in the society," says Brighton Ngigi aka Orito. He appeals to well wishers to support Mtaa Fc by all means; "we have a dream of taking this team to greater heights one day we will be among the teams playing withing the Kenya Premier League but we cannot do this alone,".  

"We have a big challenge as players we don't have enough resources in terms of training kit, our training grounds are also not up to standard, most of the times we end digging into our pockets to buy some of the basic things,"further emphasizes Chege aka Shei who is the leading scorer in the league with 20 goals under his cap.

Well wishers who support the team are drawn from within Thika and in the diaspora. Peter Kangeh and Washington aka Washii both in United States of America are two particular individuals who despite there distance from home still keep in touch with Mtaa Fc and have lobbied  well wishers to pool resources in a bid to support the community football team.  

"We also want to encourage the Thika community to support grass roots teams such as Mtaa Fc there is so much talent in homegrown football teams, that should inspire any upcoming player to nurture their talent and fuel there passion for football in Thika, points out Washington aka Washii.

"I believe that football can be a powerful tool to help build a football culture and nation, that is why when my brother and younger sibling John Muchugu  aka Chugu who is the Team Manager brought the matter to my attention I took it to heart, I volunteered and organised for them to get kits and equipments for them to enjoy practising, to motivate them I also make sure that after every match I find time to call them to motivate them not only on matters football but also life skills," emphasizes Peter Kangeh 

Mtaa Fc is on the verge of finishing on top of the Sub County League, the team comprises of young people drawn from estates around Thika, it has both senior and junior teams who despite their love for football need alot of support in terms of purchasing training kits and training facilities, they use Muslim Primary School grounds as a their training base, a football ground that is in a dilapitated state, their appeal is to the relevant institutions and well wishers is to be given support so far the players are paid a small amount stipend and their commitment to the club is purely voluntary.

Football is a powerful tool to help Thika community  build a football culture and nation we need to support grass root teams such as Mtaa Fc who are on the verge of finishing there league on top of the table with only a few matches remaining. 

To get in touch with Mtaa Fc like their page onhttps://www.facebook.com/MtaaFc Family

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