Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia have signed Zambian exciting winger Julius Situmbeko on a two year deal.
The 20 year old has been in K’Ogalo’s radar for some time now and is currently in the country with the Zambian squad in the Gotv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
Situmbeko currently plays for Power Dynamos in the Faz super league and has been touted as a great talent.
“It’s true I have signed a two year deal and I am supposed to report back in Nairobi on December 27. I have heard of Gor Mahia and I believe I can make difference in the team by working hard with the rest of the players,” Situmbeko also known as Julio told supersport.com.
Situmbeko’s lucrative deal will see him as one of the top earners in Kenya .
KPL defender of the year David Owino “Calabar” scored Kenya’s third goal as the Harambee stars recovered from their poor start against Ethiopia to defeat South Sudan 3-1 in their second CECAFA cup match. Owino’s goal came in the 77th minute when he made a brilliant solo run down the left lank then clinically placed the ball beyond the Sudan keeper.
Kenya’s first goal came via Jockins Otieno Atudo who converted a penalty in the 17th minute. Richard Jistin leveledfor South Sudan in the 26th minute. Jacob Keli scored the second goal in the 29th minute.
The other Kogalo player to see action was Edwin Lavatsa who replaced the injured Jacob Keli.
Other Kogalo players in the CECAFA tournament are Ivo Mapunda who is between the sticks for Tanzania and is said to have received offers from other teams as well as Dan Sserunkuma who scored the winning goal for Uganda Cranes over Rwanda.
Gor Mahia will spend on new players in the transfer window, a club boss has revealed. Gor will be looking to do well once again in the Kenyan Premier League and make an impression in the CAF Champions League and according to Ngala, they will spend to ensure they do so.
– We will spend money in this window. We will do our best to strengthen the squad we have and give is as much as chance of performing well as we can, he told Futaa.com.
– We are just awaiting the coach’s recommendations and then we will move on from there, he said. Gor Mahia are reportedly chasing for the services of CECAFA guests Zambia winger Julius Situmbeko. Reliable sources said the player was among the clubs’ wishlist. Situmbeko was not fielded in their one-all draw against Tanzania.
In a separate interview with futaa.com, the 22 year old confirmed of being approached with a decision not yet made.
-Yes I have been approached by various KPL clubs, Gor Mahia in particular, stated Situmbeko. I am yet to agree as I have to know the terms and conditions at the club before I make a move. Situmbeko features for Zambian top tier side Power Dynamos with an ability to ply freely on both flanks.
Gor will also drop some players in the coming days.
Unlike past seasons, Gor Mahia started the 2013 season with a modicum of stability in both the technical bench and the playing unit. Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic was returning for his second season after having come agonisingly close to winning the league on 2012. And unlike the previous coaches, Logarusic would brook no interference from the club’s executive committee when it came to technical aspects of the club.
That absolute authority was put to test when Gor Mahia brought a Brazilian to the club. Amid much hype from the media and excitement , Giovanni Rodriguez Bissolli arrived set to become the first South American to play for a Kenyan side. The media and fans were abuzz with excitement about the arrival of this Brazilian and many wondered how Gor Mahia had pulled off such a spectactular coup. Fans had watched what were purported to be his videos while playing in the Iranian league.
However when Rodriguez arrived, fans noticed a starke contrast between what they had seen in online videos versus what they saw on the field at City Stadium. The Roriguez they saw was technically challenged and was clearly in no shape to play. In the end he did not make the cut and Logarusic announced that he had “personal problems” he needed to take care of at home.
CAF Confederations cup
Rodqriguez had been named to Gor Mahia’s Africa cup squad but that did not come to pass. Gor Mahia were slated to play Anse Re-Union in the preliminary round of the Confederations cup, whose first leg was played at Nyayo stadium. Fans came in expecting an easy win but it was not to be as the plucky Islanders held on for a scoreless tie. In fact they would have scored had Anthony Akumu not committed a professional foul. Coach Logarusic was left lamenting the poor performance. “We played a very disjointed game and failed to capitalise on easy chances as the players were very uneasy at goal and my strikers failed to calm down.” said Logarusic. In the return leg, Gor Mahia put aside their scoring woes and won 5-0 to advance to the first round, where as luck would have it, they were pitted against ENPPI who at the time, were the league leaders in Egypt.
The Egyptians proved a bridge too far beating Gor Mahia 3-0. The match was played in an empty stadium due to civil unrest. “We did not play very well, we gave them so much space” Logarusic said. The return leg ended 0-0 thus continuing Kenya’s sorry record against Egyptian teams. Logarusic lamented the lack of quality finishing: “We were solid at the back but could not score the needed goals. We missed Paul Kiongera and Edwin Lavatsa but still managed to do well. We needed a player who could plant the ball into the net and sincerely speaking we did not have such player in the field today. “
Start of the 2013 League
Having missed out on the last day of the 2012 season, Logarusic and his team were determined to make amends. They started in positive fashion beating Sofapaka 1-0. New signing Paul Kiongera made a dream debut scoring with a audacious backheel off Lavatsa’s cross. The second game however ended in disaster as Gor Mahia’s 20 game unbeaten streak came to a crashing end when they lost to Ulinzi. In fact Gor Mahia’s form in the opening stages of the league was far from inspiring, despite wins over KCB, there were also dissapointing draws with SoNy Sugar and Homeboyz.
Still Gor Mahia ended the first leg on a sound note recording their thiurd succesive win over AFC Leopards. It was a match that Leopards dominated but Gor Mahia hit them with a sucker punch when they quickly turned defence into attack enabling Dan Sserunkuma to score off a rebound after Rama Salim’s effort had been stopped by the keeper. Loga was elated after the win : “I am a very happy man today as it was a very tough match but we held on despite the strong challenge from our opponents. The resilience and determination by my players paid off handsomely as they effectively used a counter attack to finish off leopards and this are some of the tactics we have been practising,” an elated Logarusic said. Gor Mahia were now only three points adrift of league leaders Thika United as the first leg ended.
Whereas Gor Mahia had difficulty scoring in the first leg, the team was kept afloat by the superb goalkeeping of a Jerim Onyango and a solid defensive backline with David Owino, Musa Mohamed, Israel Emuge and Donald Mosoti.
At the end of the first leg, Gor Mahia dropped five players : Moses Otieno, Victor Ali Abondo, Zachary Onyango, Yusuf Juma and Abbey Nattey. They were replaced by Paul Odhiambo from Homeboyz, Joseph Wanyonyi, formerly of Aspire academy, Joel Bataro from Thika United, Eric Ochieng and Ronald Okoth from Bandari and the sensational Patrick Oboya who was previously based in Vietnam.
Meanwhile the Standard newspaper did a sensational story A story appearing in the Standard indicates that Gor Mahia coach Zdvarko Logarusic is fond of pursuing women including those of team players. Whereas this story may make some fans uncomfortable, it is already in the public domain so there was no point having this blog avoid the story.
One of the players was quoted saying : “Most of us now leave our girlfriends at home when going for training,” said one of the disgruntled players. But it did not stop there as Loga was also accused of pursuing members of the Kenya volleyball team. “Ladies love him. Maybe it is because he is a mzungu and he treats them well,” a top volleyball player said.
It happened when Loga was due to go on leave. Once in Croatia, Logarusic cast doubts over his future at the club, claiming that a section of its officials would want to see him go, further insisted that he wants a return ticket to Croatia in case he falls out with Gor before the season ends. He also revealed that the club has never got him a work permit and has always lived in Kenya on a tourist visa. He also said he would not return unless the club gave him the raise they had promised him if the club was able to negotiate a better sponsorship deal. Gor Mahia officials for their part vowed not to be intimidated. After much back and forth it became clear that Loga was not returning and he was fired. Bobby Ogolla took over on a interim basis and announced his intention to become the head coach. Loga said he had no regrets : “For now, I have no regrets leaving the club. I wish Gor Mahia all the best and I pray that they win the league this season. Bobby Ogolla is a reputable coach, who can take the team places and I wish him all the best”, said Loga.
Williamson era begins
With Logarusic gone, Gor Mahia officials sought to find a new coach. They settled on former Uganda Cranes coach, Bobby Williamson. “Gor Mahia is a top club with a massive following and any coach would be interested to be part of that family. I have been following keenly the club’s activities while in Uganda and I know they won a double and were on the verge of winning the league last season.” said Williamson on his arrival. The Williamson era started in a good note with succesive wins over Bandari (1-0), Wester Stima (2-0) and Chemelil (2-0).
But soon after Williamson’s bright start, Gor Mahia were struck with bad news when Rama Salim and Dan Sserunkuma, two key players, both left the country for trials in Qatar and Armenia respectively. In the end Rama left for Qatar but Sserunkuma returned. His return turned out to be one of the most important events of the club in 2013. In fact the bloggers branch voted it as the most important turning point for the club.
Sserunkuma went on a tear, scoring crucial goal after crucial goal as Gor Mahia sought to hold off arch rivals AFC Leopards who were determined to catch them. Perhaps the most important goal he scored was the match the first goal against AFC on Augsut 25. Gor Mahia looke dead and buried down 0-2. Sserunkuma scored a typical poachers goal, tapping home a rebound before David Owino “Jashirati” who had found a rich vein of scoring form scored the critical equalizer with a brilliant volley. The game ended 2-2 but could have been 3-2 in Gor Mahia’s favour had the referee not denied them a penalty in the last minute.
That come from behind draw was essentially a moral victory that put wind in Gor Mahia’s sails. For a moment it looked like AFC were catching up as Gor Mahia floundered with draws against teams like City stars, a draw which unfortunately led to another round of hooliganism. The match against SoNy in Awendo also ended in confusion when SoNy players led by notorious goalkeeper Wycliff Kasaya acosted the referee causing the match to be abandoned while the score was 2-2. Once again David Owino had come to the rescue scoring the crucial equalizer. KPL secretary general Jack Oguda initially ruled that the match would be replayed. Gor Mahia appealed and the KPL ruling was over-ruled by FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya. KPL refused to accept the ruling and insisted that the match would be replayed.
When Gor Mahia lost 0-1 to Tusker on September 24, it looked like the title was about to slip away from the club for the third time in five years. Fans were on tenterhooks. The match against Tusker was a rugged battle which Tusker won simply by playing spoiler and taking an opportunity that came there way.
Gor Mahia were defending champions and started their cup campaign with a convincing 6-0 whitewashing of former national league side Shabana FC. In the next round, new signing Patrick Oboya showed his class and experience scoring one goal and setting up Sserunnkuma to score the other another in a brilliant display that saw Oboya earn man of the match honours as Gor Mahia beat Thika 2-0. Thika United coach John Kamau was so impressed by the Gor Mahia display that he declared that “Nothing would stop Gor Mahia from winning the title this time”.
In the quarter final, Gor Mahia was pitted against Western Stima. Once again Dan Sserunkuma was fine form scoring two breathtaking goals and Kogalo sunk the Electricians 2-0.
For the semi-finals, coach Williamson rested Sserunkuma as Kogalo came up against SoNy. The hard fighting millers held on for a scoreless draw. Gor Mahia eventually won 4-2 on penalties. Once again the penalty saving magician, Ivo Mapunda eliminated SoNy. He saved one kick and SoNy missed another thanks largely to Mapunda’s “psychological intimidation factor”. Gor Mahia put all four spot kicks past Wycliff Kasaya to book a place in the finals.
In the finals, Gor Mahia met arch rivals AFC Leopards who were determined to win at least some silverware this season and who were also motivated by the fact that they had not beaten Gor Mahia since 2011. Indeed Zdvarko Logarusic left the club with the distinction of never having lost to AFC. In a tense encounter, Gor Mahia went down 0-1 thus ending their stranglehold on the tournament they had won two years in a row.
Final Lap of the league
After the loss to Tusker, Gor Mahia refocused and Dan Sserunkuma in particular was in sensational form. On October 2, he scored a goal and set up another to enable Kogalo to beat Mathare 2-1. With that win Gor Mahia fans were able to finally see light at the end of the tunnel and Gini Wasekao was now in full swing.
Up next was Thika United, a team that had forced a draw against Gor Mahia in the first leg. Goals from new signing Eric Ochieng and another by Dan Sserunkuma ensured that Gor Mahia remained on course as other teams became resigned to the fact that this time Kogalo were not slipping up.
Then came the pivotal encounter of the 2013 season, the match against Sofapaka at Kasarani. Sofapaka were at the time Gor Mahia’s closest challenger. A loss would throw them out of contention and leave Gor Mahia with virtually both hands on the cup. And indeed Sofapaka played like their very lives depended on it. They dominated the proceedings for long periods and were it not for some poor finishing, they might have scored. However special players are those who are capable of single handedly winning a game against the odds. And that is exactly what Sserunkuma did. The move that resulted in the goal started with Wanyonyi heading the ball towards Oboya who in turn back-heeled to Sserunkuma. The stocky Ugandan outpaced the Sofapaka defence to slam home the winner which went in via the cross bar cuing absolute bedlam on the terraces.
Finally the 18 year wait was over as Gor Mahia had beaten their closest rivals and now needed only 1 point from their remaining three games. Gini Wasekao was now a fact. With Gor Mahia having all but sewn up the league, KPL finally gave in and awarded them the 3 points from the abandoned match against SoNy.
Congratulations rained in from all angles including former players like Austin Oduor, politicians and most notably FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter. The win triggered wild celebrations reminiscent of Gor Mahia’s 1985 CECAFA cup victory.
Over to the bloggers. What are your memories of the 2013 season ?
Kenya’s Harambee stars were held to a scoreless draw by Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes in the second match of the ongoing CECAFA senior challenge cup. All in all it was a disappointing show by Harambee Stars against an Ethiopia side that included only 7 of the players who recently did duty for Ethiopia in the recent world cup qualifiers that saw Ethiopia only one step away from going to Brazil in 2014.
Edwin Lavatsa was slotted to play upfront to play alonsgide David Gateri and Allan Wanga while David Owino and Musa Mohamed played in their usual defensive positions. Jerim Onyango was on the bench.
Reports suggest that Owino and Musa Mohamed were solid in their respective positions Anthony Akumu played well in his defensive midfield role. The entire forwardline including Lavatsa and Gateri were completely at sea.
Allan Wanga had the first chance of the game on 18 minutes but his header from David Gateri’s cross went over the bar. Gateri had done well on the wing to leave his marker and float in a well heavied cross but Wanga headed over. Captain of the day Francis Kahata had a chance minutes later but his shot went wide after Ethiopia failed to convincingly clear away a throw in.
Ethiopia then took dominance of the game passing the ball around with ease as the Kenyans seemed lost at times. Ethiopia’s short passing mode made the Kenyans sweat especially in the middle of the pack.
Duncan Ochieng was called into action for the first time in the 38th minute, making a full stretch save to deny Gabremichel Yakob’s shot from the edge of the box.
In the second half, the home side were determined to get in the much needed goal. Allan Wanga saw his 50th minute shot go just wide after a swift turn to leave his marker inside the box. Ethiopia had appeals for a handball turned down in the 60th minute as they protested that Aboud Omar had handled inside the box. However, Ugandan referee Dennis Batte had none of it.
Jacob Kelli came in for David Gateri who was tiring off and Musa Mohamed limping off injured as Mulinge Ndetto took his place.
Ethiopian Captain Fasika Asfan tested keeper Ochieng from a free-kick but the latter collected with ease. With time running out, pressure mounted on the home side with the Ethiopians resorting to holding the ball.
Allan Wanga had two chances with shots on top of the box but none of those went in. Ethiopia would have pulled a late one with an unmarked Manaye Fantu heading in at the far post, but his effort went wide.
Six Gor Mahia players have been named to the squad Harambee stars squad that will start their 2013 CECAFA senior challenge cup campaign on wedesnday against Ethiopia. The six are goalkeeper Jerim Onyango, defenders, Musa Mohamed and David Owino, midfielder Anthony Akumu and strikers Paul Kiongera and Edwin Lavatsa. Kevin Omondi who played a key role in the 2012 CECAFA campaign and who played some stellar games for Kogalo towards the end of the 2013 season has been inexplicably left out.
The stars will be bidding to win the CECAFA cup for the first time since 2002 when a 17 year old Dennis Oliech turned into a one man wrecking machine, scoring in every game as Kenya lifted the trophy in Dar es Salaam. That victorious squad had no Gor Mahia players as Gor Mahia were going through the leanest period in their 45 year history.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has released a list of Under-20 players to take part in the COSAFA Under 20 championships set for Maseru, Lesotho from December 3rd to 14th. In the squad are three Gor Mahia players: Anthony Gathu “Gaucho”, Angelo Okumu and Joseph Wanyonyi, the latter of whom had a superb second leg that saw him earn a position in the Kogalo starting line-up during the final lap of the 2013 league campaign.
Aspirants for the chairman post in the upcoming Gor Mahia election will have to part with Sh200,000 as the nominations fees before their names are included in the ballot.
This was part of the resolutions agreed upon by members after the current office holders and branch officials held a meeting at the club headquarters at Nyayo Stadium. Accordingly, the members agreed that prior to the December 15 polls, a new register of members will be established to determine which ones will be eligible to vote.
All the bonafide branches have been given the mandate to conduct registration at a fee of Sh500 per person. The branch officials will then have to submit the list of members and remit the collected cash by December 7 for registered members to get their voters cards.
The officials also agreed that unlike in he past, where Mlolongo system of voting was the order of he day, the mode of election will be through secret ballot. An independent electoral body will also be constituted to conduct the polls.
So far, incumbent and front runner Ambrose Rachier and his one time law student, lawyer Eric Adede have expressed interest in the chairman’s post. The nomination fees fro for the vice chair persons is Sh70,000 while that of the secretary general, where George Bwana is facing a stiff challenge to retain his seat from Tom Oriko and Chris Omondi, is Sh50,000.The same amount is applicable for the position of treasurer while all other post of organizing secretary will attract Sh30,000 fee.
Gor Mahia fans under the auspices of the Gor Mahia fans foundation participated in a visit to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Saturday to share love with the sick little ones. The events was organized by fans to share the champion’s feeling with the community after a sterling performance in the 2013 season of the Kenya Premier League (KPL) which saw Gor Mahia win the title after an 18 year hiatus.
The statement from the foundation read as follows : “GOR MAHIA FC fans on Saturday 23rd November 2013 visited children admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital – Paedriatric Oncology Ward. The fans donated fruits, toys, toiletries and other personal consumables to the children.
The fans also interacted with the children through special songs and dance and most importantly, we raised some money– part of which was used towards direct purchase of some of the above listed items to add on to those donated by the fans and the rest of the funds will be used in offsetting bills for the most needy residents of Ward 1E. The visit to KNH was organized as part of thanksgiving to the Almighty for having ended our 18 year KPL drought.”
The fans also attended a mass service at St. Stephen’s Catholic church – Jogoo road on Sunday as a way of appreciation and thanking God for the good season their club had.
The church dedicated a portion of their 2 hour service (9am to 11am) to offer prayers to the fans, club and the team. Gor Mahia fans also contributed money towards completion of the Church’s perimeter wall project. What a way to thank God for the season.
The Gor Mahia management is unaware of any player’s departure after the 2013 season, at least until the technical team meets the management for a discussion on the same.
Reports have been rife in various quarters claiming that defender Israel Emuge, veteran midfielder Moses Odhiambo, Dan Sserunkuma and a few others have left the club but according to vice chairman Faiz Ochieng, those are just rumors being peddled on social media.
Post season meeting
The K’Ogalo official said the management will have a post season meeting with the technical bench soon to discuss about the team and noted that after that is when such matters will be clear.
-As an official I do not believe in rumors posted on social media. When we sign players we give them contracts to sign on paper, we never do that on social media. If Emuge or anyone else is leaving, the technical team will tell us. That is why we have a technical bench – to be the link between management and players.
No one released
-So as far as I know, no player has been released. We just finished the season the other day and we have not had a meeting with the technical bench for a season review. We will have a meeting soon and such matters will be clearer thereafter, he told futaa.com.
Gor Mahia claimed their first league title in 18 years this season but their quest for a double fell short after a 0 – 1 loss to AFC Leopards in the GOtv Shield final.
Gor Mahia forward Danny Sserunkuma is reported to be reconsidering his earlier stand to leave the club after the 2013 season, in which he helped K’Ogalo secure its first league title in 18 years.
The player is reported to have handed in a transfer request after the GOtv Shield final but according to club Vice Chairman Faiz Ochieng, he spoke to the player during the KPL Awards on Wednesday 20 November and the Ugandan is willing to stay on.
Faiz admitted that it is indeed any player’s wish to move to a higher league with much better terms and had spoken to the player about it with the hope of a good deal materializing in future. He as well reiterated the club’s declaration not to stand in the player’s way in case a good deal comes by.
-It is true Danny wanted to leave but I spoke to him during the KPL Awards, a very open discussion and he told me he is willing to rethink his earlier demand and stay on. I know it is always every player’s desire to move to a higher league and with better terms so with him is not different.
Take his time
-I am of the view that if he takes his time he will get a better move and as we had already said, we cannot stand in his way when the right deals comes, he told futaa.com.
Sserunkuma was the subject of a failed transfer move to Armenian top flight side Banants FC earlier in the 2013 season.