Monthly Archives: September 2012

Kogalo resume training without coach

Courtesy of EA Standard

Gor Mahia have resumed light training without their Croatian magician of a coach Zdravko Logarusic with fitness trainer Mikael Igendia tasked to get K’Ogalo in tip top shape before facing AFC Leopards on Sunday.

K’Ogalo officials were coy on Monday as to when their touchline king of drama would return, with both secretary general George Bwana and assistant coach Bobby Ogolla saying, “He would return in the course of the week.”

 

Having closed the gap on Leopards to two points with a win over Sony Sugar on September 9, Logarusic flew to Croatia perhaps for some pod pekom cuisine before the energy-sapping derby at Kasarani.

In his absence, however, his in-form charges have been boosted by return to training of midfielder Joseph Njuguna.

 Overtaking lane

Midfielder Moses Odhiambo skipped Monday’s morning training after complaining of  fever.

Gor Mahia, as their fans have been joking that “they have now switched to the overtaking lane as AFC Leopards choke,” will hope to shift gears this Sunday to shoot to the summit of the KPL table.

K’Ogalo have enjoyed heart-warming form, winning the KPL Top 8 with a 2-0 beating of Ulinzi Stars and are in the quarterfinals of the President’s Cup.

They are also unbeaten in the league since losing 1-0 to Ulinzi Stars at Afraha on April 21. In 13 matches since then, Gor Mahia have won 10 and drawn three times yet Logarusic nonchalantly said he would talk about the KPL title once there is no team ahead of him.

Derby date/venue changed

Courtesy of michezoafrika.com

The much awaiting derby between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia will be played on  Saturday 22nd September and not Sunday 23rd September as earlier planned. The venue will still be the 60,000 seater  Kasarani Stadium.

Sources have said that the dates were changed because of the Safaricom Sevens Finals which will also be played on the same day (Sunday) and televised live on Supersport.

According to the Source, FKF wrote a letter to KPL asking them to change the date mostly because of security reasons.

According to FKF, Security forces would be overstretched with the two events taking place at the same time. It might also be also to the fact  that Supersport would have wanted maximum viewership for both events and hence the need to shift the derby to Saturday so that they can also get good viewership for the Finals of the Sevens on Sunday.

Another factor was be the crowd factor. Having the Sevens Finals on the same day as the derby would put most fans at crossroads as to which event to attend.

The match is anticipated to draw the largest crowd in the recent Kenyan Premier League history.

Race Tightens

The Tusker Premier League of 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in history. With 6 matches left, only 5 points seperate the top 5 teams and the country is riveted. Sofapaka, Thika United, Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and Tusker are all in with a chance of winning it all. This is the first time ever that the top Kenyan Premier league has had such a finish.

Only a 2 months ago, AFC Leopards looked like runaway winners. However they have faltered down the stretch and on Saturday went down to Western Stima on Saturday making the league wide open. Their fans were unhappy and caused fracas at Afraha stadium. It will be interesting to see how their chairman Wycliff Ole Magelo reacts given how he got onto his high horse during the fracas of th first leg match between Gor Mahia and AFC.

For Gor Mahia, the players are taking a break after a tight schedule that saw them play 4 matches in 20 days. Coach Logarusic has gone out of his way to keep the players relaxed. Gor Mahia fans should follow suit by cheering the team without putting undue pressure on the players.

Brief Statement from Admin

Of late there have been some glitches due to new software that has been implemented to run this blog. This glitch has resulted in some posts being deleted by the server, some experience a delay before their post appears on the blog.

This issue is temporary. The admin has been spending some time in the evenings working to resolve this issue. I am hoping to resolve the issue soon. Your patience is requested.

In the meantime most comments (95%) will appear on the blog succesfully.

I would also like to re-iterate that the main aim of this blog is to bring Kogalo fans and indeed all fans of football together to discuss issues pertaining to the club and to bring fans together to discuss ways of raising the club to greater heights. All fans of Kenya Football are also welcome to discuss issues pertaining to Kenya Football.

Any ideas for this site are welcome. Any suggestions on how this site can be used to help strengthen Gor Mahia FC are most welcome.

So let us continue to support Gor Mahia FC, support all of Kenya football and push the club and Kenya Football to greater heights.

Right of reply

By Paul Obonyo

Courtesy of futaa.com

I have read with lots of displeasure, an earlier article in regards to the Gor Mahia vs Sony Sugar Kenyan Premier Leaguematch at the City Stadium over the weekend, where there was revenue loss during the match, which according to the writer was due to my negligence.

 
According to the writer, by removing the police horses from the position where tickets were being sold I single handedly caused the havoc that reigned afterwards.

I would categorically like to say that the horses in question were being stoned by impatient fans who were waiting to get into the stadium and due to the suffering that was being inflicted to them, I feared for the kind of reaction the animals would have had, had they retaliated, which could even have caused a stampede and mayhem at the scene.
 
Despite my action, I would like to add that there was in no way cause of ticketing revenue, as most of those who made their way into the stadium were paid up spectators and the revenue loss was not as the likes of the purposed writer would like to exaggerate.
 
Tickets should not be sold at the Stadium
And in the event that it did, I wonder why he chose this forum, whereas there are laid down procedures in which he could have used?
In my opinion and with experience in handling crowds, I would like to say that the fact that the tickets were being sold at the stadium was the main cause of the mayhem and if anything, I would still recommend that ticket sales be done elsewhere, if possible, far from the stadium.
I feel that this is vendetta from the writer who must be from the system that steals money from the club, if the collections during Gor Mahia vs Western Stima clash in May are to go by (Ksh 624,000 was collected), what does this mean?
Simple mathematics says that only 1248 fans watched the match from the center stand and paid Ksh 500 each, way before we could analyze how many people from the Russia side of the stadium paid to watch the match leaves a lot to be desired.
 
I am not here to throw stones but to ask for accountability from all sectors and avoid laying blame in the aftermath of such problems.

Blackberry’s career at crossroads

Of all the players who have played for Gor Mahia in the past 10 years, George Odhiambo “Blackberry” is the one who has most captured the imagination of the Kogalo faithful. He literally lit up the terraces with his skills that left defenders mesmerized, bewildreded and confused defenders and turned the terraces into a near delirium. Tusker and Ulinzi defenders can attest to this because Blackberry scored what is perhaps the two most memorable goals in the history of the Premier League against these two teams.

Gor Mahia Years

He joined Gor Mahia while still a student at Kamkunji secondary school. In his first year (2009), his impact was immediate. He was voted as the best newcomer in the premier league. A year later he was voted the best player in the premier league, having finshed as the second leading scorer. Aside from winning a myriad of accolades locally, he was also named among the 100 most promising players in the world by goal.com, a leading football website. He was the first Kenyan to achieve this feat. Not even Dennis Oliech accomplished this feat.

His stellar performances saw him earn the nickname “Blackberry” after what was then the most popular smart phone. It was against this backdrop that Randers FC of Denmark offered him a 4 1/2 year contract. The sky seemed to be the limit for Blackberry. Kenyans expected him to go to Denmark and set that league on fire as he had done during his two years in Kenya.

However Odhiambo’s career now curiously mirrors , the Blackberry phone, which was the hottest phone available in 2009 and has now been surpassed by other phones such as the Iphone, IDEOS and the Nokia Lumia.

Randers

Things started to nosedive soon after his arrival in Denmark.  After playing in a few friendly matches, he soon found himself confined to the bench. Worse still the coach would not tell him why. Blackberry played well anytime he was given a chance. Things got so bad that he was excluded from the Randers squad that travelled to Turkey for pre-season training. “I am very disappointed, and it’s really hard for me. I have not been given an explanation of why I do not play. I think though, that I have done well in the few games. Since I am not playing, there is no reason to stay in Randers” said Blackberry at the time.

Blackberry thus left Randers briefly to try and obtain a loan spell with Finnish club KUPS. Despite playing well, he did not make it into the team who said that he was not a good fit. He thus returned to Randers where things did not get any better. It is reported that at one point he got into a shouting match with the coach as his frustrations boiled over.

Potential $28 Million price tag

When Randers signed George Odhiambo, it was stated that in 4 years, his transfer value would be $28 million. This information was garnered from the German website transfermarket.de. The information was based on his stated age at the time (18) and the fact that he had shown significant potential. This would explain why Randers FC were willing to give him a lengthy contract.  It is probable that when Randers realized that the $28 million was never going to happen, they started to plot how they would get Blackberry out of their books. This is when they started to frustrate him by completely leaving him out of the squad. This ought to be a cautionary tale for future Kenyan players.

Azam

Days later, his contract was terminated by mutual agreement. He then joined big spending Tanzanian side, Azam on a two year deal. There he was unable to crack the starting lineup. After a few months, Azam offloaded him.

Azam FC team manager Patrick Kahemele said the talented attacking midfielder was shown the door after failing to honour his part of the deal. “George Odhiambo is no longer our player. We terminated his contract after he demonstrated a great deal of unprofessionalism,” Kahemele said.

He failed to show up for training for five days and the terms we agreed on with him don’t state that, he went against them and the ultimate effect is for him to cease being our player,” he explained. Kahemele added: “We brought him to Tanzania to play for us and work hard and he didn’t do the latter, we had no option but to let him go.”

Kahemele said the player had even had several run ins with the coach.

He also had problems with the previous coach. His attitude was an issue in training and he also complained a lot when benched. He did not corporate with the club. We have overlooked these shortcomings for sometime believing the player sould change his ways. But this has not happened and we have had enough,” the official said.

Blackberry was then reported to be joining Mtibwa Sugar of Kagera. However this was refuted by his then agent Ed Stoner.   “George Odhiambo still has a valid contract with Azam, which they must respect, and has not joined Mtibwa Sugar as reported.” “George missed three days of training due to illness, which Shikanda told the Head Coach and Doctor about on the first day of absence.” said Stoner.

Kahemele for his part refuted Stoner’s claims. “We asked George to see the club Doctor but he declined“, said Kahemele

ETSM Agency

Odhiambo has now teamed up with Ken Joseph, British – born Fifa players’ agent and qualified  financial adviser who works for ETSM – a London based sports agency; ending his relationship with adviser Ed Stoner.

Odhiambo made it clear that he wanted a return to Europe, where he last played this year. He said that it was now time for him to make an informed decision that supports what is most important for his individual

 Where does he go from here ?

He is clearly not used to spending time on the bench. It is something he never did at Thur Gem or at Kamkunji secondary or at Gor Mahia. However it is time for him to show some patience and be willing to fight his way from the bench to the playing field. Constantly complaining about playing time will not endear him to potential clubs in Europe.

Blackberry should have a sit down chat with a player like Mike Okoth Origi who had a succesful 10 year career in Belgium. He knows what it takes to make it in the top European leagues. It is going to be difficult for any Kenyan to make it to the top leagues and learning how Origi did it is a good starting point.

His focus should now turn towards returning to the national team. By excellling at the national team level, he has a better chance of impressing foreign scouts. To do this he will need to put himself in position to be selected. Playing in the Kenyan league gives him a better chance of achieving this goal than if he were to go to Europe and end up in a 3rd division team as many Kenyans do nowadays.

Blackberry is the one Kogalo player from the past decade who comes closest to becoming a club legend. A return to the club could cement his place as one of the club’s all time greats alongside the likes of Peter Dawo, Nahashon Oluoch “Lule” and Allan Thigo. These guys became Kogalo legends because they helped the club win major trophies. Blackberry could join this pantheon of legends should he return and help the club win a major competition. Current assistant coach Bobby Ogolla knows a thing or two about becoming a legend. He is amongst the players who has received the highest number of votes in Gor Mahia’s hall of fame which can be found at this page.

Gor Mahia vs Sony Sugar ticketing statement

Courtesy of futaa.com

Sunday 9th September was in every way going to be Gor Mahia’s Fans tipping point for the 2012 season. Everything was right; the club is in form winning back to back matches, a win against SoNy Sugar would take the club to second just behind arch rivals AFC Leopards, it was a Sunday, the English Premier League (EPL) was on a break and this meant everything was right for a deluge of fans to flock the stadium. The time for Fair weather fans was here

But somewhere along the way, something went wrong and the fans overwhelmed every plan put in place and gained free entry into the stadium after breaking the VIP car entry gate. A step by step look into the day may inform the ongoing debate about the game and the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness witnessed at purchase of tickets and entry into the stadium not only for Gor Mahia but Kenyan football in general.

Every match organization principally involves the Home Team, The Police, The Ticket Agents and the stadium owners. Each party has their role to play and when one fails; it inevitably spills and embroils all the others. In many instances, the ticketing agent takes a lot of the slack because they are the people fans meet first and foremost and tend to be the most conspicuous.

Tickets for all Gor Mahia matches this season have been printed by the club and handed over to Ticket Masters for sale. The argument has been that one party cannot print and sell the tickets at the same time; it represents an opportunity for fraud. This may be true depending on the party one is dealing with and if a client chooses to limit our role to sale and verification, we have no problem with that.

Find tickets at the Stadium

This Sunday, tickets were handed over to Ticket Masters at 8:00am at the city stadium. 2,000 VIP and 6,000 Terrace tickets were registered then stamped and issued for sale to five of our cashiers. Three cashiers at the Booth at the Terraces and two cashiers at the Booth at the VIP. Sales began at about 10:00am. Attempts by ticket Masters to send some tickets to Kenya Cinema for sale were stopped by Gor Mahia Security people with the allegation that they could not guarantee what happens in town and since it was not a week day, all fans would find tickets at the stadium.

Arrangements for the match ticketing security were put in place including stationing of police on horseback to help in crowd control especially ensuring everyone was in queue at points of sale and points of entry. This arrangement had been agreed at match security meeting on Tuesday and only waited execution.

Up to about 2:15pm, everything worked and anyone who arrived then will attest to the fact that there were queues that were flowing. At about 2:25pm, Gor Mahia’s Security consultant, one Paul Obonyo who only got his job two matches ago went and ordered all police officers to withdraw from points of sale and entry. The queues collapsed as some fans jammed the points of sale and entry.

By 2:45pm all points of sale and entry were gridlocked, nobody could buy tickets and no one could gain entry into the stadium. The crowds outside kept swelling and gathering, 15 minutes into the game, the crowds outside had become impatient and made their way into the stadium through the VIP Car Entry Gate.

After the situation was contained by the police on horseback, a rumor that tickets had run out was started and without consulting Ticket Masters as to the availability of tickets at the booths, some tickets from old matches were issued to some Gor Mahia Stewards for sale. These individuals started running all over the place with tickets selling to anyone willing at whatever price they agreed on.

At some point, Nkaari Martin captured one steward selling tickets to people on a queue at the official point of sale yet the registered tickets for the match had not run out. The steward was handed over to an official at which point he was asked to stop. In total, two VIP books were issued of 100 tickets each and seven terrace books of 100 tickets each. All the terrace tickets were returned where only 227 had been sold. The VIP tickets are yet to be accounted for.

Who is in Charge?

When a client chooses a ticketing agent, he ordinarily should provide room for planning and execution. The moment the client does not provide enough room for planning and execution or the client provides the room but his stewards get in the way of the execution, little can be done. At Gor Mahia matches, the security people who are people without any security experience whatsoever tend to overwhelm every plan put in place and formulate their own and coerce agents, officials and police into their ways.

Why would a security person who is not elected by fans have so much power as to order police to vacate positions agreed on at a Security meeting? Why would security people cancel plans for a point of sale in town? Where do they get the power to order for extra books from previous matches and go on and sell them without the Ticket Agent’s knowledge and consent?

 My answer is simple, they thrive in chaos. They hope for as much chaos as is possible because that is where loopholes for private gain abound. While there are some honest security people, the vast majority of them are there to cash in and this is a fact that has never been said and addressed. If the club is to contract an agent for a job, give the agent the power to execute their plan so that they can take responsibility for all that goes wrong.

Advance ticketing?

Why is there more elaborate ticketing plans when Gor Mahia is playing away to other teams? Simple, there is more room for planning and execution. The excuse that advance ticketing was canceled because of fake tickets is a blatant lie. In its history with Ticket Masters, Gor Mahia has not encountered any fake tickets because ticketing fraud from fans is easy to contain. What is difficult to contain is internal intrigues and suspicions of who is trying to steal from where.

Tickets are not sold in advance because nobody trusts the other and we would all rather do things where everyone can see what the other is doing. The greatest threat to ticketing anywhere in the world is not the external threat but the internal one and in our quest to contain it, it leads to haphazard plans that have no contingencies meaning should threats appear, we have no way of containing them leading to loss of lives and property including club income.

Conclusion

Gor Mahia is a great club with a lot of potential that sometimes gets lost because of bottlenecks in management process. It is a club one cannot help but love and marvel at. Working for Gor is a great honor in as much as it is a profitable enterprise. We at Ticket Masters owe Gor Mahia a load for making our company what it is today and we strive to only advance its worthy cause. That is the ideal.

In practice, various interests and conflicting visions and authority get in the way and that is when things turn awry. For Gor Mahia to achieve efficiency and effectiveness it is these contradictions that must be solved and then maybe people can have the power to execute their mandate and be held responsible for it.

Written 11/09-12 11:38 By Nkaari Martin K

Gor Mahia players to take a break

Courtesy of supersport.com

Gor Mahia players have been given five days off to recharge their batteries after a marathon run of games.

K’Ogalo have had a busy two months winning the top eight as well as forcing their way into contention for the Tusker Premier League crown by climbing to second on the log with 43 points.

Coach Zdravko Logarusic who is vying for a treble said the break will not affect the players as they will have to return for physical conditioning ahead of the crunch derby against archrivals AFC Leopards.

Logarusic will also depart the country on Monday evening to his native country Croatia where he will be on holiday for a week.

Rama Salim, Ivan Anguyo, Teddy Akumu and Joseph Njuguguna have however been given an extra two days in addition to the five to recover from knocks as Logarusic explained the quartet had played more minutes.

“I have given my players a five day break to recover from fatigue and I believe that is the best antidote to get an effective team. The rest will ensure the players are ready for the remaining encounters and give us a good edge over other teams.”

“The players will go through thorough physical conditioning when they come back .Personally I am also taking a break to be able to solve some personal matters “Logarusic told supersport.com.

Gor beat Sony Sugar 1-0 over the weekend with Anguyo scoring the winner eight minutes from time.

Gor Mahia edge SoNy

courtesy of michezoafrika.com

Gor Mahia’s march  to the top of the Tusker Premier League took another positive stride on Sunday after a labored 1-0 win over Sony Sugar at City Stadium. Man-of-the-match Ugandan Ivan Anguyo headed in the winnernine minutes to the end to break Sony’s hopes  and  help Gor Mahia overtake Tusker in the log and keep leaders AFC Leopards on check.

The first period clearly belonged to Gor Mahia who launched attack after attack but good defending from Sony managed to keep the score sheet clean. In the 5th minute a good cross from Rama Salim was blocked by Sony keeper Collins Oduor for Gor Mahia’s first corner. From the short corner Moses Odhiambo’s cross was met by Rama Salim whose free header did not trouble the keeper.

Sony captain Sylvester Wanyama’s  error gifted Gor Mahia another corner that was easily cleared then Rama Salim’s  15th minute free kick went wide.

Sony then had their first shot on target through Samuel Onyango but keeper Jerim Onyango  held the ball comfortably.

In the 20th minute Ali Abondo’s pin point pass to Serunkuma went to waste as the latter’s touch let him down. Five minutes later Serunkuma was fouled by Ogutu at the edge of the box, the resulting free kick was taken by Rama Salim. Sony keeper blocked it as well as a rebound shot from  Serunkuma.

With the action not going according to plan, Coach Logarusic opted to bring in Kevin Omondi for Joseph Njuguna in the 33rd minute.

In minute 36, Sony’s lethal man Enock Agwanda had a chance but his strong shot soared above the posts. Immediately on the other side, Donald Mosoti’s   try from a long range shot failed miserably.

The teams went for the break tied at nil nil.

Kevin Omondi had the first second half chance but his execution was pathetic. Then Sony created theirs from a long throw by  Enock Agwanda  that resulted in a corner  but the that too went to waste.

In the 67th minute a Donald Mosoti’s header from Moses Odhiambo’s corner had   the expectant  crowd up in their feet but went wide.

It was Sony’s turn in the 77th minute when  Nyangech’s  cross was  headed straight at keeper Onyango by Enock Agwanda.

Sony Sugar survived another Gor assault when the keeper pulled a lovely save  to deny substitute  Itumbu Imbem.

In the 81st minute Gor Mahia won a corner that was executed by Moses Odhiambo. Ivan Anguyo rose to powerfully head in for the only goal of the match that brought the packed  “Tok Komwanda” into wild jubilation.

The win puts Gor Mahia only two points adrift of leaders AFC Leopards and sets up a sumptuous derby on 23rd September at Kasarani.

Gor Mahia  : Fred Onyango,Solomon Nasio (,Itubu Imbem 69’) ,Chris Wekesa,Ivan Anguyo, Ali Abondo(Edwin Lavatsa  59) Donald Mosoti,Athony Akumu,Joseph Njuguna(Kevin Omondi 33) ,Dan Serunkuma,Rama Salim,Moses Odhiambo

Unused Subs: Ivo Mapunda,David Owino,Moses Otieno,Anthony Gathu

Sony Sugar:Collins Oduor,Wycliffe Nyangechi,Vincent Ogutu(Joseph Omweri )Alfred Onyango,Sylvester Wanyama,Dennis Okoth,Samuel Onyango,Francise Ocholla,Enock Agwanda,Marwa Chamberi (Victor Ochieng 56’),Robert Ouma (John Kiplagat 70)

Unused Subs: Wilson Obungu,Eugine Ochieng,Cain Okeyo,Isaiah Omondi

Logarusic settles into new home

Courtesy of michezoafrika.com

Gor Mahia Coach Zdravko Logarusic is a happy man. He has now moved from his full board Hotel room to a luxurious three bedroomed fully furnished apartmentcourtesy of Nairobi governor’s seat contestant Dr.Evans Kidero

“I am loving it here. It is a very cool and nice place. I am very comfortable and more free. I can move a little to the extent that I want and when I am tired, it is the best place to relax in,” an elated Logarusic told Michezoafrika.com.

The Coach also says that he hopes to repay Dr. Evans Kidero for the gesture one day by winning a major trophy with K’Ogalo.

“I want to personally thank Mr. Kidero for this gesture and always supporting Gor Mahia. I am hoping in the future that we can give him a nice reward winning great trophies. This is a kind gesture and needs a huge reward,” the Croat added.