Gor Mahia will likely stop pursuing Ugandan talisman Dan Sserunkuma due to restrictions on foreign players. KPL teams are allowed to sign six foreign players of whom 5 can be on the field at one time. Gor Mahia and Sofapaka were allowed to sign 7. The KPL now wants all KPL teams to be on equal footing. As such they have told Gor Mahia that they would need to drop 3 foreigners to sign Sserunkuma.
“It will not be possible to sign Sserunkuma or any other foreign player now or in future until we release three or their contracts run out. That is the rule and Kenyan Premier League have made it clear to us.” said Ronald Ngala to goal.com.
KPL Chair Jack Oguda explained the new ruling
“We want to have equality. We have decided that the number of foreign players must be equal across board. Clubs which were allowed more foreigners will have to limit themselves to what we have now set,” observed Oguda to supersport.com
This ruling which did not exist at the start of the season was likely arrived at by KPL to curb Gor Mahia’s dominance.
This also means Gor Mahia will stop pursuing Rwanda striker Jean Baptist Mugiraneza. But it also means that players like Agwanda, Blackberry and Timothy Otieno will have opportunities to showcase their skills in tournaments like KPL top *, FKF cup, CECAFA cup and the rest.
No More signings
Ngala suggested that the club will not sign any more players.
“We signed very well at the beginning of the season and the signature of Agwanda may be our only transfer business in this transfer window.”
If this is true it means that Gor Mahia will not pursue Paul Were. And it contradicts an earlier statement by the club which said the coach (Nuttall) wanted to sign a striker, a midfielder and a central defender.
Jerry Santos who joined Gor Mahia in January but has struggled to gain playing time has joined Posta Rangers. Santos first came to the limelight while playing for Dandora Youth in the Extereme sports Super 8 torunament where he was voted the best player. Since then he has played in Albania, Vietnam, Tanzania as well as for Tusker and Gor Mahia.
Patrick Oboya has left Tusker to join Nakuru All Stars. Oboya was once a highly promising player, seen by many as Kenya’s next great striker. In his prime he was fast, string on the ball, a good dribbler with fantastic touches. Most memorable was the match against Angola in 2010, where he scored with spectacular volley. His superb performances saw him earn a spot for a top tier Czech side. He later moved to Slovakia then Vietnam. Injuries slowed him down significantly, curtailing what was once a promising career.
In 2013 he came back to Kenya and joined Gor Mahia. However gone was the pace that made defenders panic and gone was his ability to beat defenders with quick changes of direction. He however played a key role in winning the club’s first title in 2013. Most memorable was his clever back heel that set up Sserunkuma’s goal against Sofapaka that all but won the league in 2013.
Oboya in his prime was a heck of a player:
Donald Mosoti who joined Gor Mahia from City Stars has been signed by Nakumatt who are also eager to join the top tier league and have been signing big players. Mosoti was a favourite of then coach Zdravko Logarusic in 2011. A defense enforcer whose hard tackles put fear in attacker. When Loga joined Simba of Dar es Salaam, he brought Mosoti with him. When Loga left, Mosoti’ contract was ended and he joined Tusker.
Other players who have left seeking more playing time are Kevin Oluoch who joined Muhoroni Youth. Timothy Otieno was due to join SoNy Sugar on loan but the move was ended for unknown reasons.
Gor Mahia’s attacking midfielder Ali Hassan Abondo has been named to the Harambee Stars squad that will play Ethiopia this Sunday in the opening match of the CHAN qualifiers. Abondo had been called to the team that traveled to Rwanda for the Peace cup but did not travel to the team to Congo.
Defender Haron Shakava is down with malaria and as such has not been included in the squad. Collins Okoth “Gattuso”, Michael Olunga, and Boniface Oluoch are all sure to start.
For Oluoch, it is a chance to prove his critics wrong with an improved performance. In midfield, Gattuso has no peers on this team. He is clearly the most capable defensive midfielder. Olunga had a good match against South Sudan in the Peace cup where he scored. Earlier on he scored a hat-trick against Botswana in the Olympic qualifiers. There have been plenty of expectations with many observers predicting he would be Kenya’s next great striker. None other than Mohamed Kheri, one of the best coaches Kenya has ever produced called Olunga the next Mike Okoth. This is Olunga’s chance to prove that he measures up to those expectations.
Since its inception, Kenya has never qualified for CHAN. But with Bobby Williamson in charge, there is cause for optimism.
Defenders: Edwin Wafula (AFC Leopards), Brian Birgen (Ulinzi Stars), Sammy Meja (Thika Meja), David Gateri (Bandari), Aboud Omar (Unattached), Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards), Musa Mohamed (Gor Mahia).
Midfielders: Ali Abondo (Gor Mahia), Kevin Kimani (Tusker), Collins Okoth (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Anthony Ndolo (Sofapaka), Bernard Mang’oli, Timonah Wanyonyi (AFC Leopards).
Strikers: Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia), Jesse Were (Tusker), Peter Nzuki (Nakumatt), Jacob Keli, Noah Wafula, (AFC Leopards) and Eric Johanna (Mathare United).
Gor Mahia still pursuing Sserunkuma
There has been silence on the transfer scene. So far the only player Gor Mahia signed is Enock Agwanda. And with the signing of Agwanda, many fans predicted that the club would no longer pursue Sserunkuma.
However club official Ronald Ngala says that the club is still actively pursuing the burly Ugandan striker who was largely responsible for Gor Mahia lifting the title in 2013 and 2014.
“The last time we spoke to him, he showed willingness to join us. The only problem that can hinder our plans is KPL foreign player’s clause on the number of non-Kenyans eligible to be signed. We want to get the official position from the KPL Governing council that held its meeting recently where the issue was one of the major subject “said Ngala to supersport.com
Reports from several weeks ago had noted that some of the club’s foreign legion would be released.
Ngala also denied a story that was posted on the club site that Humphrey Mieno was joining Gor Mahia. He further confirmed that Kevin Oluoch has joined Muhoroni Youth while Jerry Santos was likely to leave.
‘As far as we are concerned, the only player I can confirm having signed for us is Enock Agwanda and the only player we have lost is defender Kevin Oluoch who has joined Muhoroni Youth. Regarding Jerry Santos, he has a pending six month contract. Possibly, he is keeping fit with Posta Rangers but he is still our bonafide player, “said Ngala.
Gor Mahia attacking midfielder Ali Abondo has been having a sensational season. He leads the entire country in scoring when all competitions are taken into account. He was widely expected by some to make his national team debut. However after having been initially named to the squad, he was left out by coach Bobby Williamson along with other Gor Mahia players like Haron Shakava.
“This is my best season so far and I have been working hard. I was happy to earn a call up to the national team. It was due to the commitment I have put in training so far this season,” he said to supersport.
Abondo is not dissapointed but will use this as motivation to work hard on the aspects of his game that need to improve before coach Williamson makes him part of the final squad.
“True, I was disappointed to be dropped, but I am happy I was picked in the first place. All I can say is I wish the team the best in the game on Sunday and we will be supporting them to victory,” he said.
“Being in a squad is the prerogative of the coach. He decides who should play and who should not depending on how he wants to tackle the game. I thank him for calling me, it was a great experience training with local and foreign based players. My mission is to work harder to make the cut next time.” he added.
Part of the reason Abondo was left out is likely because the coach was intent on deploying a defensive formation and he already had enough attacking midfielders in the side namely Wafula, Were and Timbe.
A second issue is that for many years Abondo has been an average nondescript player in the league and many are still not convinced that his latest performance is not a fluke. Which mean Abondo will need to continue churning out good performances. The next match is against Zambia. In this game, coach Williamson will have no choice but to deploy an attacking formation. He will need midfielders who can put the ball in the net. If there are 20 minutes left and Harambee stars are attacking incessantly but cannot score, Abondo will be your man.
Abondo could also feature in the CHAN qualifiers which will come sooner.
Khalid Aucho And Walusimbi in action
Two Gor Mahia players Aucho and Walusimbi continued to gain valuable international experience when they played for the Uganda Cranes who beat Botswana 2-0 in their opening match.
Walusimbi who previosuly played at full back but was switched to midfield at Gor Mahia was deployed in his new position by the Cranes.
He was awarded aplayer rating of 6.0 by Kawowo sports. This is his player rating narrative: He was played in midfield and missed a glorious opportunity in the first half when he missed a tap in from a Massa pass. Substituted at half time for Robert Ssentongo.
Aucho for his part was awarded a player rating of 6.5. This is his rating narrative: Like most players, he had a low performance in the first half. His passing improved in the second half and won a number tackles in the centre of the field.
Luwagga Kizito who plays in the Portuguese second tier was voted man of the match with two assists.
Aucho was described as indefatigable by the Uganda Monitor who indicates that he played a key role in Uganda’s second goal. As he does at Gor Mahia, he won a loose ball, shrugging off three opponents before finding Luwagga who in turn found Brian Umony for the second goal.
Sibomana with solid defensive performance
In Maputo Mozambique, Rwanda escaped with a 1-0 win. This is Rwanda’s first away win in AFCON qualifying since 2011. Having scored as early as the second minute, Rwanda doggedly defended against the marauding Mozambique attackers.
“From that point [after the goal], we had about 92 minutes of the game still to go including three possible minutes of stoppage time, 92 minutes of defending and keeping Mozambique out was always going to be tough but the boys did extremely well.” said Rwanda coach John McKinstry.
A key to Rwanda’s defensive solidity was Gor Mahia full back Abouba Sibomana who held the Mozambicans in check.
Dirkir Glay faces tall order against Adebayor
For Dirkir Glay, it was always going to be difficult to play against Togo. Firstly, he was making his national tema debut with players he has not played with. And secondly they were playing away against Togo and against premier league striker Emmanuel Adebayor, a player who has a lot to prove. To begin with, he had not been getting playing time in the premier league. He was recently given time off to address his personal family drama. And the Togo coach recently dispossessed him of the captain’s armband.
Glay was deployed in central defence by coach James Debbeh and along with his team-mates given the mammoth task of stopping Adebayor. He was able to keep Adebayor at bay for 88 minutes before Adebayor finally scored. In the end Togo prevailed 2-1.
Earlier on Tuesday, Glay was in a injury scare when he collided with Belgium based team-mate Samii Johnson. But he apparently recovered on time for the match. Samii Johnson did not recover in time for the match.
Liberia coach James Debbeh was in the Liberia squad that lost to Kenya 1-0 in 1989 with Goerge Onyango “Fundi” scoring the winner.
All in all , Gor mahia earned useful big game experience, playing against hostile crowds, formidable players or for demanding crowds. This experience will be useful to the club as the club tries to defend its league title. Players with big game temperament are unlikely to crumble under pressure should the club start dropping points.
Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch who many say was unstable will also have learned some valuable listens he can apply. He was unstable in goal and committed himself wrongly on a number of occasions which nearly cost Harambee Stars. This is one area the team needs to improve on,” said supersport technical analyst Jacob Ghost Mulee.
Collins Okoth was selected ahead of Anthony Akumu and was deployed in the defensive midfield position alongside Victor Wanyama. Okoth was clearly under instructions to stay at home so he hardly ventured forward. He put in numerous important tackles.
And of course this experience will be most useful when Gor Mahia plays in the upcoming CECAFA cup where Gor Mahia will likely play against hostile crowds.
The Gor Mahia U19 side has been in brilliant form since its formation. They went for an entire season in the 2014 Nairobi county league without losing a game. After gaining promotion, they still have an impressive record despite losing 1-2 to Dandora Youth last week, marking the first time they have lost a game this season.
Despite the impressive performance, it must be remembered that the primary goal of a Youth team is to act as a feeder club for the main team. To identify young players from the grassroots and groom them into players of a calibre high enough to make an impact in the senior team.
If players are not good enough for the senior team, then they should at least be good enough to be sold to other teams or go there on loan.
So far the U19 team has not sent any players to the senior team. However they could meet their second objective as team captain Amos Nondi is set to attend trials at SoNy Sugar FC. Coach Otieno Zico is eager to bolster his side for the second leg and has invited Nondi for a 4 day trial.
Nondi is described as a midfielder with excellent vision, a tireless worker and good passer. He is the most promising player in the side. Many see him as having the potential to play overseas succesfully. Many have even questioned the wisdom of selling him to SoNy Sugar FC. However at Gor Mahia now he would likely just sit on the bench. A deal that allows him to go to SoNy on loan would work out well for the club as he would gain useful league experience
Kenya’a Harambee stars managed a creditable result when they held Congo-Brazza, popularly known as Diables Rouges (Red Devils) 1-1 away from home. Kenya had taken the lead with a well taken goal by Paul Were following an assist by Michael Olunga. Were who had an excellent first half was later stretchered off the field following a collision with a Congo player.
The congolese equalized via a penalty after Jackson Saleh handled the ball.Prince Oniangue equalised for the home team in the 34th minute after converting the penalty.
From that point on, the Congolese launched far more attacks than Kenya. But Kenya gave a good account of themselves especially on the defensive end where David Ochieng “Cheche” was a standout. On one occasion, keeper Boniface Oluoch who had an unstable game was caught well out of position outside the penalty box. The Congolese striker lobbed the ball above him. Luckily for Kenya, Cheche had retreated to the goal and saved the day.
Kenya contented themselves with sitting back and counter attacking but chances were few and far between. Once chance fell to Michael Olunga in the 12th minushould have made it two but saw his curled shot go an inch wide. Eight minutes later it was Allan Wanga who picked up Paul Were’s pass but sent his effort over the bar.
Were had a lively first half making numerous forays into the Congo half and giving the Congolese plenty to think about. However a collision with a Congolese player that caused him to be stretchered off the field put him out of sorts.
In the second half Stars seemed contented to sit back and wait for counter-attack chances. One bright spot was Ayub Timbe whose runs down the flanks gave Kenya a few moments of spark. The Congolese did not look very convincing despite playing at home to a large partisan crowd. This is a team Kenya can beat in the return leg.
Coach Bobby Williamson is once again proving that he is an astute coach who if given support including friendlies, good planning and sufficient preparation, can take the national team places.
Starting XI: Boniface Oluoch (GK), David Owino, David Ochieng’, Jackson Saleh, Aboud Omar, Collins Okoth, Victor Wanyama, Paul Were (Kevin Kimani 78’), Noah Wafula (Ayub Timbe 70’), Michael Olunga, Allan Wanga (Anthony Akumu 89’).
Unused Subs: Ian Otieno (GK), Edwin Wafula, Stephen Wakhanya, Jesse Were, Francis Kahata, Humphrey Mieno
Starting XI: Christopher Mafoumbi (GK), Boris Ngounga, Carof Bakouna (Molse Nkounkou 68’), Davy Dimitri, Mervel Valthy, Dore Ferebory, Fabrice Ondama (Dominique Malanga 63’), Cesair Gandze, Sagesse Babele, Gregor Mbaka.
Michael Olunga will likely lead the Kenya national team attack for the first time ever in a competitive game as Kenya take on Congo-Brazzaville in the opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Olunga has played for the national team at various levels such as U20 and U23. He has played for the senior national team in friendly matches. This match against Congo is his first opportunity to be the focal point of the attack. Of course there are other attackers in the squad such as Allan Wanga, Noah Wafula and Jesse Were. But based on current form Olunga should be the man to lead Kenya’s attack especially in the absence of Dennis Oliech. Coach Williamson has taken a huge gamble in leaving Oliech out of the squad. He will be hoping that Olunga can vindicate his choice.
Other Gor Mahia players who could play are goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch and midfielder Collins Okoth “Gattuso”. The duo are experienced campaigners having played for the national team as far back as 2012. With this match being played away from home, Williamson might deploy a defensive formation in which case the tenacity of Gattuso will be crucial. If experience is the determining factor then Boniface Oluoch will be the man between the posts for Kenya. Ian Otieno, while talented, is highly untested.
For the Gor Mahia trio, it will be an opportunity to earn a measure of revenge after they were eliminated by AC Leopards of Congo-Brazza. But Congo-Brazza are 76 places above Kenya in the Fifa world rankings and will, obviously, start as favourites, more so, since they are playing at home.
In form midfielder Ali Abondo was surprisingly left out of the squad. Other shock exclusions were Peter Opiyo, Clifford Miheso who are based in Finland as well as Oliech and Mariga. While keeper Arnold Origi was left behind because the incompetents at FKF did not send paperwork to his club on time.
Harambee Stars Squad
Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Ian Otieno (Posta Rangers)
Defenders: David Ochieng (Al-Tawoun, Saudi Arabia), Aboud Omar (Un-attached), Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards), David Owino (Zesco United, Zambia), Edwin Wafula (AFC Leopards).
Midfielders: Francis Kahata (FK Tirana, Albania), Victor Wanyama (Southampton, England), Ayub Timbe (KRC Genk, Belgium), Paul Were (Unattached), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Kevin Kimani (Tusker), Stephen Wakhanya (Chemelil Sugar), Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth (Gor Mahia), Anthony Akumu (Al Khartoum, Sudan).
Strikers: Allan Wanga (Unattached), Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia), Noah Wafula (AFC Leopards), Jesse Were (Tusker).
Enock Obiero Agwanda has officially joined Gor Mahia today June 11 2015. This has been confirmed by the club organizing secretary Ronald Ngala
“He (Agwanda) is our first signing of the June transfer window. We had expressed interest in him since June last year but we were unable to get his signature because he was still contracted to Sofapaka. I am glad he is ours now and I know that he will add value to the squad, Ngala said to futaa.com.
Agwanda says he is very excited to join Kogalo.
“From Sofapaka, the only upward career move was to join Gor Mahia and I am happy to have joined this club. Every player in Kenya would want to be associated with success and Gor Mahia is the most successful club in Kenya,” he said to supersport.com
Agwanda first came to the limelight in May 2010, Agwanda, when he emerged as the top striker at Safaricom’s Sakata Ball the Nyanza regions where his qualities were noted by several scouts. His brilliant display helped Koderobara secondary school reach the semi finals of the Nyanza region. Agwanda is yet another example of a talent that was unearthed by the Sakata ball tournament that Sam Nyamweya destroyed.
He joined SoNy Sugar in 2011 when he was a form four student at Koderobara secondary where he was on a full scholarship. Francis Baraza who was his coach at the time raved about Agwanda declaring that he was the next great striker in Kenya.
“The boy has the pace that reminds me of JJ Masiga in his hey days. On top of the pace he has a good build, the power and the shots. He will be Kenya’s top striker” said Baraza at the time.
He continued to build on his reputation when in April 2011, he scored a brace in three consecutive games during the inaugural KPL U19 tournament held at the City Stadium. He top scored with seven goals as Sony U19’s emerged runners up to Thika United U19. So impressive was Agwanda that in 2012 he was called up to the senior national team by then coach Henri Michel.
Agwanda joins Sofapaka
In 2013, Sofapaka paid Kshs 300,000 to prise Agwanda from SoNy Sugar. He had some excellent games at Sofapaka. Most notable was when Sofapaka beat Tusker 4-2. Agwanda scored 1 goal and assisted on two others, earninh himself KPL player of the week honours. In 2014, he was the second leading scorer in the KPL will 11 goals, second only to Dan Sserunkuma.
During this period he was also impressive for the national U23 team. In one game against Botwana, he came on as a substitute and helped steer Kenya to a 3-1 win over Botswana.
“He was a game changer against Botswana and we need to use someone like that in the Harambee Stars team. He is playing like Peter Dawo and he contributed to the win with the throw-in and assist.”said coach James Nandwa at the time
He was born in Nyakach in Kisumu County. His official birth data is listed as April 10 1994. What makes him stand out is his ability to take on defenders, whiplash acceleration that is reminiscent of Mike Otieno or Dennis Oliech, long throw-ins reminiscent of Ocholla Jua Kali and heavy shots that remind you of Bob Ogolla in his heyday.
Where does he fit at Gor Mahia?
Indeed Agwanda has the physical tools to become a great striker. And coach Frank Nuttall is the right man to mould him into an all time great.
Given his physical attributes, Agwanda would be useful as a second half substitute to give the team impetus. When defenders are tiring, they will find it difficult to contain a striker with such acceleration, and who knows how to use his physique. And when the team is searching for a late goal, Agwanda’s long throws to Olunga, Shakava, Kagere and other heading specialists will be particularly important. Back in 1987, Ocholla “Jua Kali” had perfected the art of placing his throws exactly where Peter Dawo wanted them. Nuttall will surely work out a similar scheme at Gor Mahia.
Boniface Oluoch joined Gor Mahia in January. Gor Mahia had been pursuing Oluoch’s signature since as far back as 2013 but Tusker resisted. It was only after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Tusker that he became available to Gor Mahia. And he has not disappointed.
Even when Gor Mahia conceded 6 goals in their first 5 matches, it was clear that Oluoch was not to blame. In the last 10 games he has thoroughly impressed by keeping 10 succesive clean sheets. The 10 clean sheets is a KPL record. But Oluoch is not taking all the credit.
“It is a performance I did not expect especially at Gor Mahia who also had two very good goalkeepers in Jerim (Onyango) and David Juma,”Oluoch, a two time KPL best goalkeeper said during the Mchakamchaka show on AuperSport on Tuesday evening. I can only thank my team mates especially the defenders who have also played a key role in not only ensuring that we remain unbeaten but we also keep ten successive clean sheets,” he said to supersport.com.
Oluoch was not under any illusions about what it would take to gain the starting position.
“When I came to Gor, I did not expect to be the number one keeper, but the coach has shown confidence in me and I can only pay back by giving my best. At this point, I know my best is yet to come.”he continued.
Oluoch is confident that the team’s imperious form that saw them finish unbeaten in the first leg will continue in the second leg.
“Every player is giving his best when they are given a chance to play. We are playing as a team and working together for success.”he said to supersport.com.
Profile of Boniface Oluoch
Born on August 20, 1987, Oluoch had spent 5 seasons at Tusker. Back in 2012, he had been called to the national team as a very promising youngster. Many saw him as a potential heir to Arnold Origi. However, he has been plagued by inconsistent form often losing his starting position to players like Samuel Odhiambo. But when on form, Oluoch has been sensational and arguably the best goalkeeper in the league.
For the second succesive year, Gor Mahia will start their FKF cup campaign against relative minnows. Last year it was Eldoret based GFC 105. This year Gor Mahia once again start against an unknown quantity in Langata Gremio.
Last year GFC 105 pulled off perhaps the biggest shock of the season when they eliminated Gor Mahia on penalties at Moi stadium Kisumu. Simon Mburu had given Gor Mahia the lead before GFC 105 equalized in injury time and went on ti win 4-2 on penalties.
It must be said however that during this period, morale was low at Gor Mahia, many players had recently departed and for this particular game , Gor Mahia fielded a second string side because some players were on international duty.
Its a different story this year as Gor Mahia have been in no mood to compromise or under-rate anyone. Still it should be a good opportunity for players who haven’t featured in the starting line-up or who haven’t played at all like Jerim Onyango, Eric Ochieng, Blackberry, Timothy Otieno and others who have a point to prove.
In other matches, Sofapaka FC will launch their defence against Kenya Premier League (KPL) strugglers, Nakuru All Stars. AFC Leopards and UIinzi Stars will face Ligi Ndogo and Shabana FC. The winners will play in the 2016 CAF Confederations cup.
Meanwhile coach Frank Nuttall has taken a well deserved break and returned home to Scotland on holiday.
“He left immediately after our game in Kisumu on Saturday, he went home for holiday and we expect him back 25 June to prepare the team for the second leg” said Ronald Ngala to futaa. com