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    Frustrations boil over as membership drive flops

    With the next Gor Mahia match several days away, perhaps fans should spend a moment on other pertinent issues affecting the club. The club launched a membership drive a few months back and it has fallen flat on its face. Apparently only about 300 people have become members since the membership drive was announced.

    The failure of the membership drive prompted club secretary general Chris Omondi to lash out on social media with the tirade below:

    Kizungu ya “very soon” ni ngumu??let fans partake the brand and value derived from supporting/watching football……..let the developmental path be charted by defined stakeholders/members…….

    Social media bullies,ignoramuses n clueless fellows may call me names but these bitter realities may make some sense in the near future…..confronting these bitter realities is the only sure route in unlocking this club’s potential……..

    Populism isnt my cup of tea,i will keep on reminding you of these realities no matter how bitter they may sound…..call me names as you wish,but i only want the BEST for our club….those who are developing a social media career in besmirching my name,enjoy as it lasts,nitaenda hizo shida zitakuwa pale pale……..

    I still insist,kama FAN enjoy ball,nunua jersey kama unaweza,lipa stadi,game ikiisha enda kwako/kwenu…mambo ya accountability,HONESTLY,ni ya members….tusidanganyane

    It is clear that Sec Gen Omondi is a frustrated man. Running the club is difficult and the fan base has been pummeling him with negative comments online and perhaps in person. We fully understand. Being sec gen of this club is not easy. Remember in 2013, George Bwana was accosted physically by some fans who claimed he was derailing the club’s ambitions by selling Sserunkuma to a team in Armenia. As if the club can stand in a player’s way.

    It is true that being sec gen can be a thankless job. Which is precisely why the club’s constitution should be modified to install professionals who are accountable. The change to the constitution is a subject that will be addressed later in this post. First let us address the key issue on Omondi’s tirade.

    He misses the point when he says that only members should demand accountability. In fact it is the opposite. The more accountable the club is, the more fans will contribute and become members. A leader must go out of his way to assuage the concerns of any fan who wonders whether his money will be misappropriated by the club. We have seen how quickly the fans came together to pay Nasio’s medical bills (150,000) and to defray pending allowances (75,000) a few weeks back. The importance of accountability can therefore not be gainsaid.

    Secondly, the membership recruitment drive would be more successful if the club sustained the campaign. In this case they simply announced the drive then sat back and expected fans to pour in. In reality, Rachier, Omondi, Pesa and others should be addressing the media, appearing on TV, in newspapers answering fan questions about accountability and doing everything possible to assure fans that their money will not be misappropriated.

    And finally it is still not clear why the club has not pursued the other obvious avenue of raising revenue which is the sale of merchandize. As far back as 2009, when Gor Mahia was a mid table team, those jerseys with the “Gor Mahia” label on the front were very popular and fashionable in the country.

    The constitution

    Now we need to look at the bigger picture. The reason the club finds itself in the quagmire it currently is in is precisely because we do not have committed professionals running the team. Elected officials work on a volunteer basis and truth be told, they are hardly accountable for anything. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Tuzo sponsorship lapsed before Gor Mahia could obtain another sponsorship. It comes as no shock that the KRA sent Gor Mahia a warning letter in August of 2013 and the letter was ignored. No one acted on it and in April of this year, KRA slapped Gor Mahia with a hefty KES 118 million bill. This was probably an acted of malice by someone trying to sabotage the club. But he or she was given an opening because of the club’s negligence. Now here we are in 5 months later and the club still has not addressed the KRA issue. We do not know if they have even engaged KRA with a view towards finding out the real amount Gor Mahia owes KRA.

    Firstly the club needs to regain its financial footing. Once a measure of financial stability is achieved, Mr. Rachier should work expediently to transform the club by ridding it of its archaic constitution. At the very least the club should hire a general manager in charge of day to day activities at the club such as sourcing for sponsorship, branding, sale of merchandize, sale of tickets and publishing of club accounts. His pay should be merit pay and should be based on how much revenue he or she brings into the club. As the club grows in financial stature, it can hire more professionals.

    Diversify sources of funds

    If there is any lesson we have learned it is that the club cannot be dependent on one source of revenue such as Tuzo. The club must pursue multiple avenues including membership, merchandizing, events etc. With proper accountability, the amount of money raised via a well organized and sustained membership drive can actually be more than the sponsorship. Think of all the Gor Mahia fans all over Kenya and in the diaspora. If you can get 30,000 people to pay Ksh 100 per month, you will raise KES 3 million every month. Now keep in mind that KES 100 is a paltry amount. There are fans out there who can pay KES 500 (silver membership) and some who can pay KES 1000 (gold membership). But it can only happen with a well organized and sustained membership drive that is accompanied by transparency and accountability. The inability of Kenyan football officials to grasp this basic concept has been the bane of Kenya football for the past 25 years or so.

    Top coaches have applied for Gor Mahia job

    The position of Gor Mahia coach appears attractive to some top coaches even despite the financial instability at the club.

    According to a report by goal.com, former Gor Mahia coach and fan favourite Zdravko Logarusic is foremost among those who have applied for the job. Logarusic sees it as unfinished business after he left the club in June of last year.

    Sebastian Desabre

    Former Esperance coach Sebastian Desabre is another top name who has applied for the job according to goal. The Frenchman Desabre is youthful at 38 but his record is stellar. Under him, Esperance won the Tunisian league. Thats not saying much considering how dominant Esperance is in Tunisia. But prior to Esperance, he coached Coton Sport Garoua of Cameroon whom he led to the Camerounian league title. He also coached the Camerounian side through the group stages of the Champions league to the semi-finals where they lost to Al Ahly of Egypt only on away goals rule.

    Between 2010 and 2012 he was coach at Asec Mimosas of the Ivory Coast. There he led them to win the Coupe de cote d’ivoire in 2012 and the Coupe Houpouet Boigny in 2012. He also led them to the quarter finals of the CAF cup.

    He has no experience in any Anglophone nation so it is not clear how good his English is.

    Dorian Marinn

    Eritrea national team coach Dorian Marinn has also applied for the job according to goal.com. The 54 year old Romanian is still listed as coach of King Faisal Babes in Kumasi, Ghana where he has coached since January 2014.  His coaching career has also taken him to Tishreen of Syria and Uganda Revenue authority.

    A glance at Marinn’s curriculum vitae does not show any notable achievements and King Faisal are currently 14th out of 16 teams in the Ghanaian league and are staring at relegation.

    However Some Kenyans might remember him as the coach under whom Eritrea beat Kenya twice during qualifications for the 2008 Africa nations cup. At the time, Frenchman Bernard Lama was Harambee stars coach.

    Local coaches

    Among the local coaches who have applied to take up the position include former AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops, Bidco United coach Alfred Imonje and former Nairobi City Stars coach Tim Bryett.  None of these have notable achievements either. There is no word on whether former coaches Sammy Omollo or Zedekiah Otieno have applied.

    More Applications due

    Club secretary general has indicated that the club expects more applicants to send their CVs.

    “More applications are still coming. We have constituted an interviewing panel which will look at all those applicants and narrow it down to five before we pick the most suitable candidate,” he told goal.com. What is also not clear is whether the club has the financial wherewithal.

    Gor Mahia , KCB in scoreless draw

    courtesy of futaa.com

    KCB have overtaken Nairobi City Stars on the Kenyan Premier League [KPL] standings after holding Gor Mahia to a barren draw in their Thursday afternoon encounter at the Nyayo National Stadium.

    It was an end to end game as both sides enjoyed control of the match and possession at various points of it in both the first and the second half respectively.
    Gor Mahia started as the better side though with Timothy Otieno heading wide from close range from a Godfrey Walusimbi corner in the second minute.
    David Calabar Owino then launched a quick break but Samuel Mwangi was quick to react and intercept the counter, Musa Mohammed however relaunched the attack on the right but the resultant shot went wide.
    KCB then attacked for their first chance in the 10th minute but John Odhiambo’s cross to Benjamin Chaka was headed off the mark. Walusimbi then blew his corner off the mark in the 15th minute.
    Daniel Onyango then looped the ball to Timothy Otieno but the former Talanta forward lost footing in attack. Kiongera then capitalized on the blunder and attacked for KCB’s first real threat but his cross towards goal could not reach Raymond Murugi in time.
    Timothy Otieno then wasted two glorious chances towards the halftime mark with only the keeper to beat after Sserunkuma had done all the donkey work. He was nearly punished after Musana’s cross found Paul Kiongera who combined well with Benjamin Chaka but the resultant shot went wide.
    The introduction of Simon Mburu early in the second half for Blackberry Odhiambo seemed to have worked as Gor won more ball in the midfield and attacked with more vigour.
    Kizito’s attempt to find Timothy Otieno was fruitless in the 50th minute as the ball was headed away by Kevin Omondi. Kiongera then launched the first counter attack for KCB in the second half but Jerim was quick to react from the resultant one on one with the lanky striker.
    Sserunkuma then lost an open chance from a one on one but Zachary Onyango produced a good reflex to save the day for KCB in the 60th minute. He then missed from yet another one on one after Mburu picked him out but Onyango punched it back to play.
    KCB turned the tide against Gor with Murugi partnering well with Paul Mungaui who is headed to Simba SC in Tanzania but the eventual cross to Chaka was too long and was cleared by Musa Mohammed.
    Patrick Onyango Oboya who had been introduced for Timothy Otieno then headed inches wide from the near post in the dying minutes of the match before he was caught by the offside trap a minute later in yet another attack.
    Sserunkuma then missed the best chance of the second half after beating the KCB defence and drilling his shot inches wide with only the keeper to beat.
    The draw leaves Gor Mahia at the peak of the standings while KCB piles pressure on Nairobi City Stars as the relegation battle gets heated even further.
    KCB: Starting XI: 22. Zachary Onyango (GK), 13. Bethuel Warambo, 30 John Odhiambo, 27 Mark Odhiambo, 21 Kevin Omondi [c], 12 Tirus Omondi, 3 Ronald Musana [Kassim Mohammed], 8 Sula Bagala[17 John Macharia, 86'], 24. Ray Murugi, 5 Mungai Kiongera, 11 Benjamin Chaka [10 Samuel Mwangi 90+2']
    Unused Subs: 1 Sammy Okinda (GK),  18 Abbas Kiwaalabye, 14 Michael Oyando, 9. Chrispinus Onyango, 15 Peter Wainaina
    GOR: Starting IX: 1 Fredrick Onyango (GK),5. Musa Mohammed 18 Harun Shakava, 15 David Owino, 2 Godfrey Walusimbi, 3 Geoffrey Kizito, 10. Daniel Onyango, 6 Collins Okoth, 25. George Odhiambo [7. Simon Mburu 46'], 8 Timothy Otieno [30. Patrick Oboya 77'] 8 Dan Sserunkuma

    New era starts as Gor Mahia take on KCB

    Gor Mahia players celebrate Kizito’s goal against SoNy

    Gor Mahia start the post Bobby Williamson era when they take on KCB on Thursday.

    According to team captain Jerim Onyango, the playing unit has gotten over Williamson’s departure and is ready to move on.

    “As a player you always have to be prepared for such things and be ready to work with anyone at any-time. Williamson had a great influence on this team and we will miss him but we have to move on.” he told goal.com.

    Team manager Frank Ouna is the man charged with taking the club through this transition period as Gor Mahia search for a new coach to take them through the end of the season.

    On paper, Ouna is certainly qualified. He is a  Master’s degree Holder (MIS) and BSC (IT) degree from Moi University is an experienced and well trained coach with  a UEFA B coaching License  adding up to his previous DFB Level  II course in Germany and CAF Level “C”

    But despite all these qualifications he has scant coaching experience. At Gor Mahia he has been in charge for only one game. It was the KPL top 8 match against Tusker which Kogalo lost.

    In the last match against SoNy Sugar, the club was bailed out by individual brilliance and in particular Geoffrey Kizito’s free-kick. On Thursday against KCB , it will likely come down to the playing unit again. Which is why the club’s fan base must turn out in large number to lift the team.

    KCB will be no pushovers. They are on the recovery path, are determined to escape relegation and won their last match according to their coach and former Kenya international Rishad Shedu.

    “The morale at camp is still very high and I am sure that in our remaining eight matches we shall rise to safety because the boys also want to remain in the league.

    “We want to stay out of relegation zone. I am glad the team has begun to pick up at the right time and considering renewed confidence during training, I believe they will overcome the challenge.”

    And striker Mungai Kiongera who scored in their last match will likely want to leave on a high note as he departs for Tanzania.

    But the Gor Mahia playing unit is under no illusions about the difficulty of this match. They are also determined to stay focused in the remaining 10 matches.

    “Our focus is to take each game as it comes. We are not focusing on how many matches we have remaining or the advantage we have. Instead, we want to work hard in each game and make sure that we pick maximum points,” continued captain  Jerim Onyango to goal.com

    The fan base must show up and do their part to lift the players.

    Starting Line-Up

    Starting IX: 1 Jerim Onyango 5. Musa Mohammed 18 Harun Shakava, 15 David Owino, 2 Godfrey Walusimbi, 3 Geoffrey Kizito, 10. Daniel Onyango, 6 Collins Okoth, 25. George Odhiambo, 8 Timothy Otieno, 8 Dan Sserunkuma

    Substitute: 16 David Juma . 27. Simone Pierre, 13. Charles Bruno, 17. Eric Ochieng’, 7. Simon Mburu, 30. Patrick Oboya, 14. Kennedy Opiyo

    Reports: Logarusic among those in contention

    Apparently former Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic is among those who are seriously being considered to take over as Gor Mahia coach following the departure of Bobby Williamson. This according to a report in the Nation.

    “It is safe to reveal we will be appointing a foreign coach (to replace Williamson) considering the composition of our multi-national squad,” the club’s organising secretary David Kiilo said Tuesday to the Nation.

    The  Nation Sport suggests that Logarusic, who won the FKF and Top 8 titles during his earlier stint at the club that ended in mid last year, is keen to make a comeback.

    However the management is wary of the tactician’s ‘extra baggage’ and would prefer to outline what the Croatian tactician can or cannot say or do on paper as part of the agreement.

    It is a reversal from 2 weeks ago when Secretary General Chris Omondi declared that the club was not interested in hiring Loga but would instead persuade Williamson to stay until season end.

    Should Logarusic return, it will be a reversal of last season when he left at Mid season for Williamson to take over.

    Logarusic was most recently at Simba of Dar es Salaam where he was fired for several reasons including the fact that Simba finished an unaccustomed fourth in the league and Logarusic was said to be extremely rude to players.

    There is no word yet on which other foreign coaches are being considered.

     

    Most Fans blamed poor tactical approach for the CECAFA debacle

    Player departures  was a close second

    Acid test for Frank Ouna against KCB

    Frank Ouna in the orange jersey

    Gor Mahia have appointed Frank Ouna as interim coach. He will be in charge of the match against KCB. Chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that Ouna will be in charge while the club seeks a suitable replacement.

    “Ouna is the designated assistant coach at Gor Mahia and he therefore, takes over as we look at possible successor,” Rachier told goal.com on Tuesday.

    Ouna has very little coaching experience. He has been on the technical bench  as team manager. He also stood in for Bobby Williamson in the Top 8 match against Tusker FC in Kinoru Stadium on Saturday 24 May.

    We as fans cannot expect miracles from Ouna. We can hope he identifies the appropriate line-up to tackle KCB based on KCB’s style of play and that he comes up with appropriate strategies and in-game adjustments. Much also depends on the playing unit. And this is why the 12th man aka the fans will be once again critical. Much of how Gor Mahia performs in the last few games will depend largely on the 12th man.

    Identifying the next coach

    According to Rachier, they have received applications and will meet

    We will meet on Tuesday as an executive and have a look at all those who have applied for the job and then talk to them and discuss our terms. We expect to have someone in place in the next one week.” said Rachier to goal.com

    Since Bobby Williamson indicated that he would help the club identify the next coach, it is critical that each of these candidates is interviewed by Bobby Williamson.

     

    Gor Mahia to name coach on Tuesday

    Eric Ochieng and Blackberry in action against Djibouti Telecom

    Gor Mahia are set to name a coach to replace Bobby Williamson on Tuesday August 26. This according to a report by the Standard newspaper.

    Coach Bobby Williamson has indicated that he has given his suggestion as to whom should take over as coach.

    “I have talked to the chairman (Ambrose Rachier) and recommended someone for the job. It is someone who is a qualified coach and one who can lift up this club to greater heights,” he said to the Standard.

    And in a separate report, Williamson heaped praise on his long time assistant and club legend Bobby Ogolla, thus hinting at whom his personal favourite would be.

    “Ogolla has done a wonderful job and will be a good replacement,” he said.

    From a continuity perspective, Ogolla would be good. But it remains to be seen whether his health can withstand the pressures of being Kogalo coach.

    Club Chairman Ambrose Rachier is said to prefer Zedekiah Otieno. But Otieno is unlikely to leave SoNy Sugar mid season.

    Former coach Zdvarko Logarusic would be a fan favourite but given his past history of agitating for higher pay and the financial status of the club, he is an unlikely choice.

    With Gor Mahia having regained their position atop the Tusker premier league, it will be critical that a suitable replacement is found who can enable the club to maintain its position starting this Thursday against KCB who are determined to fend off relegation.

    National Team

    Meanwhile Williamson has officially taken over as Harambee stars coach and has named four Gor Mahia players in the squad to play Egypt. New sensation Timothy Otieno is likely to make his full debut. Other Kogalo players named are David Owino, Jerim Onyango and Anthony Akumu who is out on loan. Bernard Odhiambo, a younger brother to David Owini has been named.

    It is interesting that when Harambee stars needed quality friendlies, there were no quality matches organized. Now that Stars are eliminated from competitive football for two years, then FKF has seen it fit to line up to quality friendlies against Egypt and Morocco

    Bobby says emotional farewell as search continues

    Coach Bobby Williamson bade an emotional farewell to the club on Sunday. It was a fitting goodbye as Gor Mahia won 1-0 thanks to a high quality strike from Ugandan international Geoffrey Kizito.

    And clearly Bobby has been very popular among the players. In a moving gesture, the players hoisted him to a lap of honour at the end of the match to thunderous reception from the fans.

    Bobby thanked the club management and the players.

    “Gor has wonderful players and I hope they go ahead to win the league because it has a good bunch of players. I thank the chairman for having faith in me and giving me this opportunity to manage the club.

    “I also express my sincere gratitude to players who made extra effort to go ahead and win the game today,” .

    He also said why he was unable to manage both the club and the national team.

    “I don’t think I could stay any longer at Gor because I don’t want to look impartial when selecting players for the national team, I would like to concentrate on national team and hopefully develop some talent and introduce academies but we have a lot of work to do,” he declared.

    “I will miss the fans that were always fantastic and crazy and I’m happy they behaved today which is a good thing because the club needs a sponsor.

    “It’s been tremendous though I experienced some highs and lows but I can’t complain because that’s the experience in football,” Williamson stated in homage to the fans who gave him the rousing ‘green carpet’ send-off.

    Bobby also said he was proud of his record in the Mashemeji derby despite having not won in four attempts.

    “My best match in Gor was two weeks ago against Leopards when we were 2-0 down and thought the game was over but it wasn’t because we should have won that match, Sserunkuma should have been given a penalty but the referee denied us because he wanted the match to end 2-2 to avoid trouble.

    “I feel disappointed I leave the club having not won any derby in four attempts but I’m happy I leave the club in good position to defend the title and everybody seems to love the way we play,” .

    Williamson’s statement about the club needing a sponsor is very apt. There are reports that the club did not wear the Joma kit because they did not settle the laundry bill when the Joma kits were taken for cleaning.

    Search for a new coach

    Meanwhile there is no word yet on whom the new coach will be. Former player Sammy Omollo led Tusker to a league title. So he proved that with good players he can win. He later took over at SoNy before being replaced by current coach “Zico” Otieno.

    Among the names that have been mentioned is current team manager Frank Ouna. According to former Kenya international, Ezekiel Akwana, Ouna would make a good replacement.

    “Now that Bobby has left, I would advise the Gor management to elevate Frank Ouna to be the replacement, he told futaa.com Ouna has worked under different coaches at Gor and understands how the club has been coached in the recent past said Akwana. ”

    But Ouna has no coaching experience and this is not the time for Gor Mahia to be experimenting.

    Others have backed current assistant coach Bobby Ogolla to take over. But Bobby legend has still not recuperated completely. The pressure that comes with being coach might cause him to relapse.

    What Gor Mahia needs now is an experienced person with established credentials.

    Gor Mahia 1 SoNy Sugar 0

    Dan Ssserunkuma and Geoffrey Kizito take on SoNy Sugar

    courtesy of futaa.com

    Gor Mahia returned to domestic action with a 1 – 0 win over SoNy Sugar in the two teams’ Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at the Nairobi City Stadium on Sunday 24 August, a win that was heavily aided by the visitors’ keeper Lucas Indeche’s 57th minute mistake.

    Timothy Otieno got the first sight on goal for the KPL champions on the fifth minute when he robbed Alfred Onyango of the ball but he took too long to make a decision and his eventual option of passing to his strike partner Dan Sserunkuma came late and Onyango recovered to clear.

    Gor Mahia threat

    Action was stuck in the visitors’ goal area and Indeche was called upon on 16 minutes to smother George Odhiambo’s free kick after he was fouled by Andrew Anthony 20 yards out and four minutes later Harun Shakava’s header from Kennedy Ayong’s corner flew wide.

    Gor Mahia skipper Jerim Onyango pulled a great save on 22 minutes when in a one on one situation with Edwin Oduor – the striker shot well but Jerim just took a timely touch and Harun Shakava raced in to clear the danger.

    Wasted chances

    Five minutes to the break, Timothy Otieno had another good chance after getting to the end of George Odhiambo’s cross but he blasted wide when he just had Indeche to beat and just before half time Eric Ochieng fed Sserunkuma in the box but Indeche made a decent save.

    The ensuing surge forward saw Andrew Anthony well poised and he managed to beat Jerim Onyango as the Gor Mahia defence went missing but the SoNy Sugar man’s touch was too heavy and the ball sailed clear of any danger.

    Moment of madness

    Indeche’s moment of madness came on 56 minutes when he handled the ball, placed it down and picked it again to give away a free kick in the box and Geoffrey Kizito stepped forward to steer the ball home for the only goal of the game.

    Gor Mahia had the chance to double the advantage after Kizito picked out Sserunkuma with a great pass on the 74th minute but the league’s top scorer, faced with just Indeche, went for power and lacked precision and his attempt flew high.

    The result saw Gor Mahia reclaim top spot with two matches in hand and with 41 points while SoNy Sugar stays rooted in ninth place with 28 points after 22 matches.

    Teams

    Gor Mahia; Fredrick Onyango, 5. Musa Mohammed,18.Harun Shakava, 15. David
    Owino,14. Kennedy Opiyo (89’ Simon Pierre),3. Baba Kizito,17. Eric Ochieng (73’ Dan Onyango),6.Collins Okoth,25. George Odhiambo (58’ Ian Niva),9. Timothy Otieno. 8. Dan
    Sserunkuma

    Subs: 16. David Juma,20.Joseph Kariuki,13. Bruno Charles,10. Daniel Onyango,7. Simon Mburu,27.Simon Pierre,19.Ian Niva

    SoNy Sugar: Indeche Lucas (GK), Wycliffe Nyangechi, Omweri Joseph, Onyango Alfred, Odette Charles, Asembeka Amos, Andrew Anthony(80’ Robert Ouma), Oduor Kennedy, Oduor Edwin (72’ Kennedy Otieno), Chamberi Marwa (c), Mwangi Joseph (58’ Samuel Onyango).

    Sub: Ronny Kagunzi (GK), Eugene Ochieng, Ouma Robert, Onyango Samuel, Opondo Vincent, Okombo Naftali, Otieno Kennedy

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