The Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Central Regional Finals were held on 18th and 19th January 2020 at the Nanyuki Stadium. In Season Two Falling Waters (previously Barcelona FC) from Laikipia, won the Central Regional Finals but fell at the semi-final stage at the National Finals in Meru.
After Falling Waters thrashed Karima Queens 12-0 in the semi-final we spoke with Jane Njeri (She emerged as the top scorer from the Central Regional Finals with 6 goals). Jane was one of the players who was selected to attend the 10-day training camp in Spain. The team also attended a live match between Barcelon FC v Getafe at the Camp Nou.
If you put yourself in the shoes of the Karima Queens players how would you pick yourself up after such a loss?
I would not lose hope. In sports, losses are inevitable. Girls tend to lose hope quite easily after such a loss. We also lost (in the semi-final of the National Finals in Season 2, Falling Waters were beaten 6-1 by Kitale Queens who were the eventual Champions) and we sat down and analyzed how we can improve and move forward from there. We must never give up. Everyone has their time and you have to keep trying.
What was your experience like at the training camp and how has that built you as a player?
You need to speak up for yourself. If there are things you don’t understand, ask the coach for clarification. Also, we learned to respect the coach at all times. Even if he didn’t play football, he has a better view of the game and knows why he is making certain decisions. And I need to stay grounded no matter how much success I get.
What do you perceive is your weakness as a player?
I am not fast. This is a problem when the defenders on the opposing team can outrun me so I have been running a lot more in practice. Last season I could have scored more if I could run faster.
What valuable lessons did you take home with you from the training camp?
We were encouraged not to give up. Win or lose, if we’re chosen for the All Star training camp from Season 3 or not, we need to take heart, learn where we can do better and move forward. Listen to the coach and fellow team mates as football is a team sport and I would not be where I am today without my team mates.
What will you do differently at the National Finals this season of Chapa Dimba if you qualify?
I need to make sure I score more goals than I did in Chapa Dimba Season Two (she scored five goals at the National Finals and was top scorer). I need to get to at least eight.
What’s your dream where football and life is concerned?
My dream is to join a football team outside Kenya where I can encourage other girls with similar dreams. There are many others who would like to play but they still don’t have the opportunity to do so. If I am successful, I will give back knowing what my own journey has been.