It cannot be gainsaid that the Ugandan Cranes trio of Dan Sserunkuma, Godfrey Walusimbi and Geoffrey Kizito have played pivital roles in Gor Mahia’s success in retaining the league in 2014.Their superb play on the field, professionalism and commitment has been noticed by fans and highly appreciated. They have set an excellent example for the rest of the playing unit. But their success on the field has also attracted the eyes of other teams.
Club official Ronald Ngala, fresh from his success at the KPL awards indicated that the club is busy trying to retain the three players.
“Sserenkuma has showed willingness to remain at the club while Kizito has given us some conditions that we believe can be met,” Gor Mahia’s Deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala said,
“We are in discussions with the two players and we strongly believe they’ll be with us next season. Our fans should not be worried, we will have a better squad next season,”
“All the other players who are out of contract are willing to renew and therefore there’s no need to worry. we’ve got this,” he said to kplchat.com
Kizito attended trials with a Vietnamese side while Sserunkuma has attracted the eyes of Sudanese side Al Ahly Shendy, Simba or Tanzania and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa.
All three players features as Uganda Cranes suffered yet another heartbreak in their attempt top qualify for the Africa cup of nations after a 36 year hiatus. Of all the teams in CECAFA, Uganda and Rwanda have taken the longest to qualify for Africa’s premier event.
All three received poor ratings from Uganda’s newspaper the monitor:
Godfrey Walusimbi 3
Got early jitters at left-back from Ibrahima Conte, settled in briefly, but later ran out of ideas.
Geoffrey Kizito 4
He just had a bad day in office. Baba imposes his presence on games but his passes were mostly square and the Gor Mahia player barely found midfield partner Mawejje.
Daniel Sserunkuma 4 (Substitute)
When Mwesigwa’s actions wrecked the plan, dread-locked Sserunkuma found it hard to link up from the middle. Still, he was an improvement on Miya.
The ratings from Kawowo sports were only slightly better:
Godfrey Walusimbi 5.0: Started the game on a slow note being turned in and out by man of the match Ibrahima Traore. Lucky not to be booked after a number of fouls but grew in stature in the second half though his side was more of an avenue for the Syli Nationale.
Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito 5.0: Struggled against the quick passing Guineans and provided less cover to the backline.
Daniel Sserunkuma 6.0: Came on for Farouk Miya and gave Uganda some momentum in attack but it was too little too late. He is the only player who registered a shot on target for Cranes.
All in all the Cranes had a bad day at the office with the exception of keeper Dennis Onyango who was rated highly.
The Report from KTN : Chair Ambrose rachier explains how the club overcame its financial difficulty to win the league.
Interview with skipper Jerim Onyango and coach Frank Nuttall after the win
This video includes match highlights:
Gor Mahia jet back from Kisumu to a heroes reception
Coach Frank Nuttall holding the cup upon arrival from Kisumu
Gor Mahia striker Dan Sserunkuma had a phenomenal season in which he finished atop the Tusker premier league scorers chart with 16 goals. He was consistent throughout the season and when he was not scoring goals, he was setting up his strike partners with scoring chances. It stands to reason that he would be considered among the candidates for the player of the year , a title he won in 2012.
When the list of nominees came out however, Sserunkuma was not even listed among the candidates. A report on goal.com suggests that some coaches conspired to lock out the Ugandan talisman apparently because of what they called “the controversial nature of his goals”
“He (Sserunkuma) may have emerged top scorer but we also looked at how some of the goals were scored. Out of 16 goals, he scored three penalties and in our opinion some were not genuine. Furthermore, we felt that some of the goals he scored were from off-side position. If referees did not see it, we did and took note.” said a coach who sought to remain anonymous.
These kind of wild claims are reminiscent of Chemelil coach Mike Mururi who claimed that Gor Mahia wins because they get help from referees. At this rate it would have not come as a shocker if they gave the golden boot award to someone else.
Sserunkuma and his team-mate Goeffrey Kizito did not attend the ceremony as they were away with the Ugandan national team which was attempting to qualify for the Africa cup of nations. Unfortunately there was further disappointment as the Cranes once again fell short at the last hurdle.
Gor Mahia must find accommodation for Frank Nuttall
Frank Nuttall is away in Scotland for a 6 week holiday. The Scottish coach has been living in a hotel since his arrival in Kenya. The house he is supposed to occupy is still being occupied by former coach Bobby Williamson while Nuttall’s hotel bill is paid by the FKF.Williamson for his part cannot move because the house he is supposed to occupy is still occupied by former coach Adel Amrouche. Its is a mess at FKF.
However reports suggest that Nuttall is tired of hotel life and says he will not live in a hotel when he returns.
“Nuttall has made it clear that he does not want to stay in a hotel when he comes back. It is a tricky situation for us because we cannot evict Williamson.” said a Gor Mahia official.
When Gor mahia visisted president Uhuru Kenyatta at state house after having won the 2014 Kenya Premier League, Famous Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja was offered a job by the president. On Thursday Nov 20, Jaro Soja officially reported to work. Dressed in a sharp suit, Soja appears to be having a blast in his new digs. Though it is not clear what he will be doing. But since the directive to employ him came from the president, he could even spend all day sharpening pencils while taking visitors in his spacious office. Hopefully Soja uses his new influence to get Gor Mahia cheaper training accommodations.
Images courtesy of Jaro Soja
For the second season running, Gor Mahia’s dependable defender David Owino “Calabar” retained the defensive player of the year award he won in 2013. A just reward for a player who has been consistent for the past two years.
Dan Sserunkuma was award the golden boot award. However it is not clear why other players were even nominated given that Sserunkuma was clearly the top scorer.
Midfielder Geoffrey Kizito who has been solid and dynamic throughout was somehow beaten by Anthony Ndolo of Sofapaka in both the player of the year and the midfielder of the year awards. It is not clear why Sserunkuma was not nominated for this award.
Allegations of cheating
A report by the Standard indicates that there was widespread bribery and side deals conducted by the coaches who were assigned to do the voting.
KPL 2014 awards winners
Best Player of the Year – Antony Ndolo (Sofapaka); 1st Runner up – Geoffrey Kizito (Gor Mahia); 2nd Runner up – Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars)
Coach of the Year – Mike Muiruri (Chemelil Sugar); 1st Runner up – Sam Timbe (Sofapaka); 2nd Runner up – Robert Matano (Ulinzi Stars)
Golden Boot – Dan Sserunkuma (Gor Mahia); 1st Runner up – Enock Agwanda (Sofapaka), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars); 2nd Runner up – Michael Olunga (Thika United), Jesse Were (Tusker)
Goalkeeper of the Year – Jairus Adira (Chemelil Sugar); 1st Runner up – Robert Mboya (Mathare United); 2nd Runner up – Fredrick Onyango (Gor Mahia)
Defender of the Year – David Owino (Gor Mahia); 1st Runner up – Charles Odette (Sony Sugar); 2nd Runner up – Felly Mulumba
Midfielder of the Year – Antony Ndolo (Sofapaka); 1st Runner up – Geoffrey Kizito (Gor Mahia); 2nd Runner up – Brian Osumba (Tusker)
Fair Play Player of the Year – Hamisi Mwinyi (Chemelil Sugar); 1st runner up – John Njoroge (Sofapaka); 2nd Runner up – Barrack Odhiambo (KRA)
New Young Player of the Year – Kennedy Owino (Nakuru All Stars); 1st Runner up – Kevin Omondi (City Stars); 2nd Runner up – Nicholas Kamau (City Stars)
Fair Play Team of the Year – Muhoroni Youth; 1st runner up – Gor Mahia; 2nd Runner up – Nakuru All Stars
Most Improved Centre Referee of the Year – Peter Waweru; 1st Runner up – Anthony Ogwayo; 2nd Runner up – Moses Osano
Most Improved Assistant Referee of the Year – Stephen Oduor; 1st Runner up – Dorcas Wanza; 2nd Runner up – Oliver Odhiambo
Team Manager of the Year – William Muluhya (Mathare United); 1st Runner up – Amenipa Bigisho (Sofapaka); 2nd Runner up – George Maina (Thika United)
Chairman’s Award – Ronald Ngala
With the season over, attention now turns to the transfer season. This year Gor Mahia is less active than in past years. One of the players Gor Mahia is rumoured to be targetting is Muhoroni Youth Striker Ezekiel Otuoma. Muhoroni Youth punched way above their weight this season and one of the reasons was Otuoma. The pacy striker gave defenders nightmares with his mazy runs and precise finishes.
Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi indicated that Otuoma was indeed on the club’s radar:
“We have been watching him for some time now and can say he has what we need as a club. He is young and fits in well with our aspirations,”he saidto goal.com
However Muhoroni Youth Chairman Moses Adagala was categorical that Otuoma is not for sale.
“We want to tell Gor Mahia and any other club that is interested in our players that none of them is for sale. We are inspired by our recent performance in the league and intend to go for the title in 2016.
“In this regard, we intend to keep all our good players as by then they will have matured to a point of fighting for the title.” he said to goal.com
Another player whom Gor Mahia are said to be interested in is Ugandan striker Robert Ssentongo who plays for Uganda Revenue Authority and is the top scorer in the Ugandan league.
Back on the local scene, Mathare United playmaker Harrison Mwendwa is being pursued by both Gor Mahia and AFC.
“It’s true there have been several offers from a number of top teams which I will not mention at the moment but I am yet to negotiate with one,” Mwendwa told Futaa.com.
“I am weighing my options before falling for any deal,” added the Mathare United star.
Mwendwa first rose to prominence in 2010 at the national schools championships. At the time his brilliant play helped steer Jamhuri high school to the national schols final. Most notable was his brace against Waa secondary in the semis. Mwendwa would be a good fit for Gor Mahia who lacked playmaking last season.
Back in 2012, Michael Olunga was the top scorer and MVP of the national schools football tournament. At the time he declared that he was a Gor Mahia fan and wanted to play for the club. Surprisingly Gor Mahia did not pursue him even when Olunga received high praises from experienced coaches like Mohamed Kheri who described him as the next Mike Okoth.
Olunga was among the top scorers in the league this season and would be a good fit to play upfront with Timothy Otieno and Blackberry.
Shabana Approached Gor Mahia for help
Newly promoted Shabana FC have approached Gor Mahia for assistance. According to a report posted on futaa.com, Shabana wants Gor Mahia to loan them some of the players who are scarcely used at the club.
“It’s true we have approached Gor Mahia to loan us few of their quality players who have lacked playtime and since they will be preparing for continental football, probably not all of their players have the mettle to feature in such a pressure-mounting competition, the former Congo United and AFC Leopards coach said.
-We are hoping that our proposal will go through since some of their players have the experience to help us locally and warming the bench at the club won’t help them develop as we bolster our ranks for next season.” said Gilbert Selebwa, the Shabana coach.
Among the players who saw little playing time are Joel Bataro, Daniel Onyango, Herbert Kopany and Angelo Okumu. The latter went on loan to Nakuru All Stars but they never used him.
Club chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that former coach Bobby Williamson was most responsible for winning the 2014 premier league.
We give credit to Bobby since he played the greatest role in earning us this victory. Nuttal joined us after Bobby’s had done 3/4 of the work he is a great coach too, he said to futaa.com
His last match was against SoNy Sugar in early August before he took the Harambee stars job. Williamson joined Gor Mahia in mid 2013 taking over from Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic who refused to return to the club after going on holiday.
During Williamson’s tenure, Gor Mahia was always at or near the league summit. The one blemish on his record was his inability to win the Mashemeji derby.
“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,” said Williamson on his last day in charge of the club.
Jaro Soja denies reports
Famous Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja who was offered a job by the president has furiously denied reports that he turned down the job.
“Contrary to the romours going round that I have turned down the job offered by the His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, I wish to clarify that I am and will always be available to serve him and Kenya at any capacity he requests me to. To all Gor Mahia fans, I remain one of you. I am a Kenyan first, then a Gor Mahia fan. I once again thank my President for his faith in me.” said Jaro Soja posting in social media.
There was a report on K24 news suggesting that Jaro Soja had turned down the job and was instead requesting money to start a business.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised to help Gor Mahia find a sponsor next season. According to a report posted on goal.com, President Kenyatta said he will personally intervene to ensure that Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have a sponsor for next season.
Club chairman Ambrose Rachier told goal.com that the president said he would take it upon himself to find a sponsor. “leave the issue of sponsorship to me.” said President Kenyatta apparently.
“The President was very categorical that he will intervene to ensure we have a title sponsor,” said Rachier
Rachier also pleaded with the president to ensure the government deals with hooliganism. “Please help us deal with this hooliganism by arresting and prosecuting those culprits,”
Kenyatta promised that the police would deal with the vice.
“Security agencies are going to deal with that issue of hooliganism,” said President Kenyatta.
During the function, the president donated KES 2 million to the club and a further KES 1 million to the team.
This is the first time President Uhuru has hosted a football club.
As is the case almost every year, Gor Mahia leads other clubs with the highest number of nominations for the KPL end of the year awards.
Geoffrey Kizito leads the pack in the footballer of the year nominations. He had a solid season, scoring 6 goals to finish as teh club’s second highest scorer. He was also an excellent passer and as deep lying midfielder, was always available to bolster the defence. Kizito has also been nominated for midfielder of the year.
Skipper Jerim Onyango was rock solid throughout the year. Many a time, his timely saves secured points for Gor Mahia.
David Owino is a nominee for defender of the year. He has been perhaps the most consistent player over the past two years. Solid at the back and always making forays upfront. Haron Shakava also had a solid season and has been nominated for defender of the year.
2014 KPL awards nominees:
Footballer of the Year – Geoffrey Kizito (Gor Mahia), Anthony Ndolo (Sofapaka), Osborn Monday (Tusker), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Enock Agwanda (Sofapaka).
Defender of the Year – David Owino (Gor Mahia), Charles Odette (Sony Sugar), Felly Mulumba (Sofapaka), Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards).
Goalkeeper of the Year – Jerim Onyango (Gor Mahia), Robert Mboya (Mathare United), Samuel Odhiambo (Tusker), Jairus Adira (Chemelil Sugar), Lucas Indeche (Sony Sugar).
Midfielder of the Year – Brian Osumba (Tusker), Geoffrey Kizito (Gor Mahia), Antony Ndolo (Sofapaka), Humphrey Mieno (AFC Leopards), Geoffrey Kataka (KRA).
Top scorer of the Year – Dan Sserunkuma (Gor Mahia), Enock Agwanda (Sofapaka), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Michael Olunga (Thika United), Jesse Were (Tusker).
New Young Player of the Year – Faruk Shikhalo (Tusker), Kennedyy Owino (Nakuru All Stars), Nichola Kamau (City Stars), Kevin Omondi (City Stars), Andrew Anton (Sony Sugar).
Fairplay Player of the Year – Charles Okwemba (AFC Leopards), Hamisi Mwinyi (Chemelil Sugar), Barrack Odhiambo (KRA), Maurice Odhiambo (Nakuru All Stars), John Njoroge (Sofapaka).
Best Fairplay Club of the Year – Gor Mahia, Muhoroni Youth, AFC Leopards, Nakuru All Stars, City Stars.
Team Manager of the Year – Joseph Okal (KCB), Amenipa Bigisho (Sofapaka), William Muluhya (Mathare United), Rajab Said (Chemelil Sugar).
Coach of the Year – Sam Timbe (Sofapaka), Francis Kimanzi (Tusker), Robert Matano (Ulinzi Stars), Francis Baraza (Muhoroni Youth), Mike Mururi (Chemelil Sugar).
Gor Mahia could become the first football team to visit the State house. They apparently have already received an invitation. According to goal.com, it is understood that President Uhuru Kenyatta is keen to help the team acquire another sponsorship after their previous one with Tuzo lapsed.
“The President has been very keen to meet the team and he has finally secured them an appointment on Thursday. Furthermore, he is keen to see the club get a sponsor and is willing to help. He is likely to reveal this during their Thursday visit,”said a well placed source goal.com
President Uhuru Kenyatta was among the first to congratulate Gor Mahia after they captured the 2014 Tusker Premier league.
Nyamweya asks government to pay for air tickets
Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier recently raised the alarm suggesting that Gor Mahia may not be able to participate in the 2015 Africa champions league. This is due to the prohibitive cost of playing away from home which according to Rachier amounts to KES 7 million.
With that in mind, FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya has appealed to the government to purchase tickets for the club.
“We want to ask the government to assist Gor Mahia honor their first two fixtures by giving them air tickets. I missed my flight to Kisumu to watch final match against Ushuru FC because flights were fully booked by Gor Mahia fans. The quality football we saw in Kisumu has never been witnessed in the country and that is a true sign that we are destined for greatness.
“The league has ended well and Gor Mahia has won and they deserved to win. We expect a very exiting league next year. As you can see the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Culture Dr. Wario is here too and that is a sign that our sponsor number one, The Government of Kenya, is well in our support.
“I remember President Uhuru Kenyatta sent his congratulatory message to the team within half an hour of being declared champions and soon we will take the champions to go and shake hands with him.” said Nyamweya.
Back in the early 1990s , 1980s and 1970s, it was the government that footed the bill whenever Kenya’s representatives played in continental tournaments and even the CECAFA club cup. That all ended when the IMF introduced austerity measures in the 1990s.
Wario Praises Gor Mahia
Minister Hassan Wario did not commit any government support. He whowever praised Gor Mahia for brnging color to league.
“The colours you (Gor mahia fans) bring to kenyanfootball is second to none.You have made watching football even on television interesting. Long live Gor mahia” said Wario
“Gor Mahia are worthy champions. They brought pomp and color to the league. The KPL would be poorer without you but the concern of hooliganism must be dealt with,” continued Wario.
In a separate function, former speaker Farah Maalim also declared his support for Gor Mahia
I dont go around looking for Manchester United,Arsenal….I support Gor Mahia Football club…I believe in homegrown.”said Maalim
Next Page »