Gor Mahia will take on Ulinzi stars on Saturday in what promises to be a difficult encounter. Ulinzi are in good form and are third in the table.
On Monday Gor Mahia warmed up for the encounter by beating Nairobi Stima 3-0. The match was an opportunity to give players who did not play over the weekend an opportunity to stay sharp and play their way into the starting line-up.
“They played very well against Nairobi Stima, it was good to give them game time because they did not feature over the weekend. Our policy is for each and every player to have some game time each week and so the friendly match was important for those who did not play over the weekend.” said Frank Ouna to futaa.com
Having a strong bench is good for the club because as the league proceeds, players will start to miss matches due to injuries.
“As a Technical bench we were impressed with their performance, they give us much options in the league which is important for us as the league progresses” continued Ouna
Gor Mahia won 3-0 with goals from George Odhiambo, Timothy Otieno and Bernard Odhiambo.
But Frank Ouna knows that Ulinzi will be a difficult proposition and the team is preparing accordingly.
““It will be a massive match for us in our bid to retain the league title, but it will also pose a threat on our unbeaten run. They are unbeaten in five matches meaning they already have the momentum. But it is a great side which will give us problem” said Ouna to goal.com
And coach Frank Matano is always heavily motivated to play against Gor Mahia, something Ouna is well aware of.
““Matano [Robert] has a well-balanced squad with good offensive and defensive players. We will just aim to be disciplined and be very cautious. Our main objective will be to frustrate them, keep possession and try and penetrate their rear guard,”
KPL Player of the Month to receive cash awards
KPL players will now be doubly motivated to play well. Sports Journalists Association of Kenya and betting company SportsPesa on Tuesday launched a monthly KPL player motivation programme that will see performers earn cash prize of 50,000 shillings, a 42 inch Television and a special trophy.
The partnership, which will be renewed annually and is aimed encouraging competition and hard work amongst players in the top tier Kenyan league.
“We have been in the local market for one and a half years and it is now time to engage in some Corporate Social Responsibility ventures in football and boxing. We are going to put more money next year and we look forward to a good partnership,” said Kester Shimonyo to the Standard. Shimonyo is the chief marketing officer of Sportpesa.
According to SJAK secretary General Mike Okinyi, a special panel of judges will be picked from football writers who will also rely on statistics from the governing body KPL to make meritocratic judgments.
Judging who is the best player in the league will require a keen eye among journalists. The lazy journalists ones or the ones who are not knowledgeable enough will only go by who is scoring. But as Chairman Ambrose Rachier said during the occasion, there is more to being a good player than pure statistics.
“This is a good initiative that will impact positively in the field. It is not about the scores but the performance, work rate and the contribution of the players in the league. It will go a long way in improving the standards of football in the country,” said Rachier.