Kogalo seek points against Ulinzi

Up next for Kogalo is 2010 champions, Ulinzi Stars at Afraha stadium Nakuru on Saturday. This is a venue that has not been a happy hunting ground for the team. The last match there ended in a loss to Oserian. And Ulinzi have been a tough nut to crack at home.

But Kogalo will be buoyed by their fortuitous win on Sunday against Sofapaka. For once, it was Kogalo who received the lucky bounces. And fans will be hoping for the same.

Missing from the team will be Moses Odhiambo who has an ankle injury. Gor Mahia will be coming up against former player, Wycliff Ochomo who joined Ulinzi this year.

Match tickets will be sold on game day at Afraha B. Main stand tickets will sell at Ksh 500 while terrace tickets will go for Ksh 200.

Relief in Gor Mahia camp

There was a palpable sense of relief amongst Kogalo fans and players at the rain soaked Nairobi City stadium on Sunday after the win over Batoto ba Mungu aka Bana ba Nzambi.

No one epitomized that sense of relief more than Baldwin Ngwa who burst into tears after the final whistle. It was a long time coming for the players who have been working extremely hard and playing their best yet the results have not been forthcoming. Luck has not been on their side. Jerim Onyango too was extremely pleased. He played well in Sunday but on at least two occasions had howlers which could have easily turned the tide.

After the match, Coach Logarusic punched the air with both hands. He later told the media that his players deserved it because they worked harder than Sofapaka. His opposite number, Salim Ali feels that Sofapaka were cheated by the referee. Welcome to the club Bwana Ali. This is KPL and the referees are second rate.

The fans deserve three cheers for not giving up on the team. They defied the rain to show up in large numbers, thus raising close to ksh 1 million.

Gor Mahia sink Sofapaka

Kogalo grabbed their second win of the season with a timely 1-0 win over second placed Sofapaka. The match was played at the Nairobi City stadium and was subject to yet another Super Sport ban.

The all important goal came via a penalty in the 41st minute. Kevin Omondi’s attempt at goal was handled by a Sofapaka defender. Rama Salim stepped up and cooly found the back of the net.

The win over a very good Sofapaka team bodes well for the team’s future. Coach Logarusic has been working hard at implementing his system and introducing knew formations that demand fitness and concentration.  The players are slowly adapting.

The game marked a return for Jerim Onyango who aqcuited himself well as well as Donald Mosoti. Meanwhile Teddy Akumu also had a good game and appears to be slowly returning to his form of 2 years ago. Rama Salim and Kevin Omondi also proved their mettle.

Gor Mahia :Jerim Onyango, Musa Mohammed, Yussuf Juma, Donald Mosoti, Ivan Anguyo, Kelvin Ochieng’, Teddy Akumu, Rama Salim, Kelvin Omondi, Victor Ali, George Midenyo

Subs;Wycliffe Kasaya, Collins Omondi, Peter Juma, Demonde Selenga, Baldin Ngwa, Dan Owiti, Ibrahim Kitawi

Sofapaka : Duncan Ochieng’, Hashim Mukhwana, John Njoroge, Eugene Asike, Felly Mulumba Tshiyoyo, James Situma, Humphrey Mieno, Elly Asieche, Herritier Luvualu, Simon Mburu, John Baraza

Subs; David Okello, Robert Binja, Edgar Ochieng’, Antony Kimani, Joseph Nyaga, John Onami, Abdallah Juma

What George Bwana did not tell fans

Courtesy of EA Standard

it was bold and timely for Gor Mahia Secretary George Bwana to address the nation last weekend.
Few officials talk to the public in times of distress, the type that K’Ogallo has sustained since the season started. Yet the public always want to get to the bottom of issues. That way, they can make sober and informed judgement and, where possible, offer solutions.
Bwana was in our studios at The Standard Group Centre last Saturday. As expected of a competent secretary, and ostensibly a spokesman, he gave assurances that the club is in good hands and the future looks pretty good.
Whether those assurances are enough to cool simmering tension and angst among the club’s following is only a matter of conjecture. By and large, I think Bwana only glossed over the real issues affecting the club.
The problems at Gor are more complex than what the secretary chose to tell the public. But again, as he assured the public, I hope they will be resolved in good time so that the legion of the club’s fans can rest assured that their club won’t be relegated.
In times like these in any organisation, it calls for an honest approach to resolving problems rather than adopting diversionary methods, if being economical with the truth.
Publicly, the problems started with the sacking on March 5 of the entire technical bench under Anaba Awono, assistants Ken Odhiambo, Zablon Otieno, and Julius Owino; team managers Jolawi Obondo and his assistant Maurice Ouma ‘Ole Tunda’ after the club was eliminated from the Confederation’s Cup by the CAF Confederation Club Ferraviario de Maputo.
This was followed by a string of poor performances in the Kenyan Premier League.
Club legend John Bobby Ogolla was brought on board with former Ulinzi Star player Tom Ogweno as team manager.
Before any deal was concluded, Croat Zdravko Lugarusic was hired to steer Gor from the murky waters. The performance has not improved, but with time and once he has gelled with his charges and has learned and understood the situation, he should save them from further agony.

Bobby Ogolla and Tom Ogweno at gormahia.net

But it should be understood that the club need to get things right. Most of these things are basic. The most important is the playing unit.
The club must get players under tight grip and I don’t mean by dictatorial means: By simply making them happy. By honouring their word. About a dozen players are grumbling, some loudly, over unpaid signing fees.
The club will be in more trouble when some players realise their colleagues’
financial demands have been met, while theirs are still on the pending file.
Bwana and the Gor office will have to move fast to fulfil their side of the bargain. A club’s playing unit is the most important and once it is at peace, results will come pronto. Fans will be happy and violence or fan trouble will not be experienced.
It looks like Awono’s approach of head hunting players from established clubs has not been as successful as identifying raw talent from the grassroot as the club was accustomed to in years gone.
Apart from being expensive, it brings players who make unrealistic demands, which drain resources from the club’s kitty.
Ogweno will have to learn a few lessons from former TM Jolawi that real talent is to be found in the village rather than from established clubs or relegated sides.
For who knew George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, Dan Makori, Fred Otieno, Nicholas Odundo, Duncan Owiti, John Kiplangat, Brian Osumba, Roy Okal, and Gradus Ochieng’, and others, before they were fished from clubs in back water areas like Nyarombo FC (Kanyamwa), Migori Youth, Nyarombo FC, Gunga FC, Kisegi, Milimani FC (Homa Bay), Oyugis and such like places?
Get basic things right and avoid blame games. Officials should not look over their shoulders and start blaming colleagues or past officials for the problems facing the club.
They must face them head-on and get this great club back on its right footing. I cannot countenance a Kenyan Premier League without Gor Mahia or AFC Leopards.

Gor Mahia players assured

Courtesy of michezoafrika.com

Gor Mahia officials have come out strong to defend their players against reports suggesting that some of them have already been lined up for axing when the transfer window opens in June. The officials say they respect all the players and would love them to feel at home while doing duty for the club.

In a statement on Friday, club officials said only Collins Okoth has so far been suspended from the club for absconding training without official permission and that all other players are still part of the team until after expiry of their contracts.

Speaking to michezoafrika.com on Friday, Secretary General George Bwana said “We are not in the business of interfering with the decisions of the technical bench. Our new coach may have mentioned that he is not satisfied with the performance of the team but at no time has he or any other official of the club mentioned that we will chase away specific players. We respect all our players and would love them to remain comfortable while serving our team.” He said.

Gor Mahia’s Croatian coach has been quoted in the past as saying the club should brace itself for a total player shake up though this cannot happen anytime soon until when the transfer window is opened in June.

“When the window opens then the technical bench will advise otherwise on the changes they may need but at the moment we value all our players and they are still part of our team. I urge the players to remain committed to their course and strive towards attaining the best for the club through delivering good results that will bring back evryones’ faith in their abilities. We know these are low moments for our team and we thank all those who have been patient. We have seen our players deliver in the past and we are sure they are capable of turning tables, ” Added Bwana.

Gor Mahia will this weekend take on Sofapaka at the City stadium optimistic of posting positive results that will see them run away from the relegation zone.

“At this time our players need all the motivation and encouragement from all sectors especially from the fans. The hard times will come to pass.”

Blackberry may return

Courtesy of Daily Nation

Former Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year, George ‘BlackBerry’ Odhiambo, is on the verge of making a sensational return to Gor Mahia.

This will happen during the transfer window in June.

Odhiambo, who won the best player award in 2010, left for Danish side Randers immediately after the season.

But he has found limited playing time at the Danish side and with an urge to rebuild his career and also win back his position in the national team, Odhiambo has been mulling with the idea of making a return to the KPL.

His agent Ed Stoner has been in close contact with Gor Mahia secretary general George Bwana and the deal is almost done.

Terrorised defenders

“I can work on bringing George (Odhiambo) back to Kenya and he is ready to play for Gor Mahia,” said Stoner. “I also have links in Asia but the boy wants his career back on track,” added the agent.

Contacted, Bwana confirmed he had made contact with the agent and they were discussing finer details about a deal to bring the 22-year-old back to K’Ogalo where he made a name terrorising defenders at will.

“Odhiambo is one player I believe should have stayed at Gor for longer. It’s our hope that he comes back to the club and rebuild his career. We are still in talks but we are optimistic all will go well,” said Bwana.

Kogalo fate to be known Friday

courtesy of michezoafrika.com

Gor Mahia is set to know its disciplinary fate after the violence that erupted on March 18th during their match against AFC leopards at the Nyayo National Stadium by Friday this week.
A section of Gor Mahia fans caused mayhem during the second half of the match after Ali Abondo was shown red for a vicious tackle on Amon Muchiri, disrupting the match for almost over quarter an hour.
According to KPL Chief Executive Jack Oguda, the KPL’s Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee is set to meet this Friday and deliver the verdict.
“The IDCC will sit this Friday and give a verdict on the fracas, basing on the report from the Match officials. We expect them to forward the verdict after the meeting hopefully, but the latest we can expect the verdict is on Monday”, Oguda told Michezoafrika.com.
Following the violence, Gor Mahia were also banned by the Sports Stadia Management Board from using the Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia. SuperSport also withdrew from airing any of Gor Mahia matches until such a time they will be convinced that the fans have reformed.
This is the fourth time in the last two seasons that Gor Mahia will face IDCC for fan trouble.

When will Kogalo bounce back ?

The Kenya premier league has now played through 1 quarter of the season. Gor Mahia stand in the relegation zone with one win 4 losses and 4 ties. This record harkens back to 10 years ago when  mismanagement. That year in 2002 , Kogalo finished at the foot of the table. Within the first few games they had gone down 0-3 to Oserian and 1-4 to Chemelil. Okay so it is not that bad yet.  Still the current record is perplexing.

Various reasons have been given. Coach Logarusic has said the players are not of sufficient calibre. This may be his way of motivating the players and is partially true. But it does not fully explain the current predicament. How does that explain loosing to recently promoted Oserian and Muhoroni youth.Do they have better players ? Not by a long shot. And how is it that players who succeeded at other clubs have become ineffectual at Kogalo ? There are clearly some deep seated issues with the team perhaps even disunity within the playing unit.

In a bid to change things around, Logarusic has introduced a number of changes. To begin with, there is a gag order; Players will no longer speak to the media without permission.  It is nothing new, anyway, for it’s the case with most professional outfits the world over. This is a good thing. At the very least we will no longer hear empty promises from players. Of late there have been too many. Every time the team looses, a player article appears on one of the blogs promising imminent success. Let the players focus on actually bringing results instead of promising them.

Logarusic has also banned players from calling officials from their cell phones. It has been noted that players have been building alliances with officials thus causing disunity. When players are disunited, they cant play for each other and sacrifice for the team.

The players and officials were set to meet on Monday to discuss pressing issues. I believe the fans who have stayed loyal throughout deserve to know the outcome of the meetings. It is critical that the team comes up with a solution soon as there are some tough matches coming up, most notably against Sofapaka on Sunday.

Another issue that needs to be addressed soon is the rash of injuries. This was covered in depth in a previous article.

On a positive note, most fans are learning the importance of policing themselves as evidenced by the fact that a hooligan was “arrested” by fans and handed over to Police on Sunday.




Oserian sink Kogalo

Gor Mahia went down 0-1 to bottom side  Oserian in a KPL match played at Afraha stadium on Sunday.  The goal that sunk Kogalo came in the 15th minute. From that point on, Oserian did nothing but defend doggedly. Gor Mahia had started well with Kevin Omondi who recently returned from injury looking lively. They dominated possesion and had the Lions share of attacks. However poor finishing still appears to be a problem.

In the 60th minute, Oserian were reduced to 10 men when a player was sent off for a second bookable offence. Gor Mahia continued to attack but could not find the breakthrough. In came Demonde Selenga who fought gamely but could not find the back of the net.

My task now is to ensure Gor escape relegation. My players are not playing according to expectations,” Gor coach Zdravko L0garusic told the media.