Coach Frank Nuttall is keeping his players in the right frame of mind for the upcoming mashemeji derby by reminding them that it is just another league match.
“I know this is usually the biggest game and every player in the two sides has been psyching for it. But then again, it is just any other league game with three points at stake,” However, just as we have done throughout the season, we go into every game for the three points and against AFC Leopards, we will once again be out to get the three points,” said Nuttall to supersport.com
Yet this is not just any other game. Leopards may be out of contention for the league title but they would like nothing better than to win the derby and end Gor Mahia’s unbeaten run. To that effect, Ingwe players have been working hard this week.
But Nuttall will also prepare and motivate his side. Not only do they need to keep their momentum towards the title going, but they need to win a derby they have not won in a long time. Gor Mahia did not beat AFC during the Bobby Williamson era and the first leg this season ended in a tie.
To that effect, coach Nuttall rested several key players
Gor Mahia’s match to a third succesive crown was slowed down when they were held by a relegation candidates Nakuru All Stars 1-1.
courtesy of goal.com
K’Ogalo squandered a chance to stretch lead at the top of Kenyan Premier League table as they managed a draw against struggling Nakuru All Stars
Gor Mahia were held to a 1-1 draw by Nakuru All Stars in a Kenyan Premier League match played at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday.
Despite the draw, K’Ogalo still maintained their unbeaten record and also remained on top of the log and destined to another league title this season. Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall, who returned to the dug outs after missing the match against Nairobi City Stars, blamed his charges for a slow start.
“We started poorly in this match and despite going ahead…we never looked aggressive going forward. All Stars also gave their best and deserved a point in this fixture.”
Josephat Oyugi broke the deadlock in the first minute when his unsuccessful clearance attempt ended with the defender planting the ball into his own net by trying to thwart Michael Olunga’s efforts at the goal. Second half substitute , who had come in for Titus Achesa, scored leveller with a bicycle-kick in the 69th minute for a share of the spoils.
The on fire Olunga’s bid of doubling the score in the 23rd minute had his rasping shot deflected off for a corner after good tee up from George Odhiambo. Karim Nizigiyimana and Enock Agwanda were forced to see their chances go to waste late on in the half for Gor Mahia to lead 1-0 at the break.
the sinking Stars were at the end of a 5 goal hammering by Gor Mahia in the first leg and returned to the same venue where they threw away a three goal lead last Friday to draw 3-3 with Sofapaka. Cash strapped Nakuru All Stars borrowed a leaf from Muhoroni Youth, who have twice relocated their home matches to Nairobi in order to cash in on the diehard Gor Mahia city supporters.
The game was initially scheduled for Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, the home of Nakuru All Stars before maverick Nakuru chairman Robert Muthomi fell for the allure of six digit figures from gate collections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday fulfilled his pledge to reward Gor Mahia for their stellar performance at the recently concluded CECAFA club cup.
The cash was presented to Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier by media personality Bill Arocho on Tuesday afternoon.
The President, through the ministry of sports had earlier facilitated the return tickets from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi.
This column would like to thank the president. Gor Mahia as a non-partisan club will receive support from any corner.
Now they need to parlay their success into garnering a sponsor.
The cash will give Gor Mahia a means to settle salary arrears. Though Gor Mahia has been highly succesfulo this season, gate proceeds have been below expectation. And attendance is way below the stellar days in 2011 when even for a midweek match against Sofapaka, Nyayo stadium was jam packed.
Gor Mahia will take on Nakuru All Stars in their next league encounter. The match will be played at Nyayo stadium on Wednesday starting at 5pm.
Though Nakuru have been rooted to the bottom of the table throughout the season, their recent form indicates that they are undergoing a Renaissance and any teams that under-rates them could regret it. One week ago they shocked AFC Leopards, beating them 2-1. And last weekend they gave Sofapaka quite a scare. They were leading 3-1 before John Baraza came to Sofapaka’s rescue. A key to their revival is former Gor Mahia striker Patrick Oboya who himself is experiencing a career rennaisance after having been dropped by Tusker. The goal Oboya scored against AFC was reminiscent of the memorable volley he scored against Angola in his heyday back in 2008. Oboya also scored twice against Sofapaka. He will be the man to watch on Wednesday.
Back in May, these two teams met and Gor Mahia won 5-0 with Meddie Kagere scoring what was probably the goal of the season. It will be no easy ride this time as Nakuru are determined to ride their recent form to an unlikely escape from relegation.
Rachier on outstanding Salaries
Meawhile chairman Ambrose Rachier has admitted that the entire technical staff is owed salaries. He however rejected the notion that anyone boycotted the game.
“It is true we have not paid Nuttall, and his fellow coaches, that is an undeniable fact. But they have not absconded duty that I can tell you.
“Right now they are back working. We have been in financial crisis but have tried working round the clock to make them comfortable. Last week it was a coincidence that all of them were not around as John Bobby (Ogolla) was sick and Ouna (Frank) was tied a little by his business, said Rachier to goal.com
That Nuttall is owed back salaries is highly unfortunate. The is the best coach that Gor Mahia have had since Len Julians in 1985. There will likely be numerous teams pursuing him. It may take a miracle to keep him and the fact that he is not paid on time does not help.
Rachier did however indicate that the player salaries have been brought up to date.
“We have cleared player’s salaries though, but that does not mean tacticians are not important. Players are the reason why Gor Mahia is playing so we cannot afford to let them go. But the technical bench is equally important to us because it has masterminded our current success. We are not yet successful in our bid to secure a sponsor but we are optimistic all will be well.” continued Rachier to goal.com
The fans can do their part by attending home matches and actually paying gate fees, not to mention the other financial initiatives.
A notable absence from the Gor Mahia technical bench this past Saturday was coach Frank Nuttall. There are reports that Frank Nuttall did not go to Scotland to address family issues as earlier indicated by club officials.
An official told goal.com that Nuttall stayed away to protest non-payment of his salary
“The coach stayed away because he is not happy with the way things are happening in the club. He has gone for three months without pay and he feels he cannot continue to work under such conditions. I don’t know how long he will stay away or whether he will return for the next league match. Lets not lie to one another…Nuttall is still around (in Kenya) and never travelled to Scotland.” said an official to goal.com
Nuttall though missing from the bench did not actually go to Scotland. There is no valid reason why he would miss a match while staying within the country.
Chairman Ambrose Rachier has in the past been honest about the club’s precarious financial situation. Perhaps he should come forward and level with the fans and tell fans the plain truth regarding outstanding salaries.
Other members of the technical bench are also owed large sums. In fact coach Nuttall himself has said in past interviews that his technical staff are never paid on time. They have however continued to show plenty of enthusiasm and commitment on the sidelines, such that you would not know they are not being paid on time. .
Gor mahia beat Nairobi City stars 3-1 at the Nyayo stadium on saturday. Goals came from Meddie Kagere and Michael Olunga who scored twice.
City Stars showed a lot of poise and comfort on the ball, knocking the ball around confidently. But Gor Mahia showed early intent attacking from all angles. In the 18th minute, Nizigiyimana’s inviting cross aimed for Kagere instead was gathered by an alert Ronny Kagunzi who previously played for Gor Mahia.
Two minutes later it was the dangerous duo of Kagere and Olunga who combined well. Olunga weaved past several defenders before crossing to Kagere who scored only to be flagged offside.
Gor Mahia continued to press. In the 24th minute, Olunga picked up a pass from Musa Mohamed but his goalbound attempt was blocked.
The opening goal finally came in the 28th minute following good work from Abouba Sibomana who crossed to Kagere who scored with a brilliant header.
The second goal came in the 45th minute. This time it was Nizigiyimana who did the spadework, crossing to Michael Olunga who found the back of the net, soundly beating Ronny Kagunzi who had tried to beat Olunga to the ball thus leaving the goal wide open.
The third goal came via the penalty spot. City Stars defender John Amboko handled the ball following a shot from Meddie Kagere. Michael Olunga stepped forward and scored to put Gor Mahia up 3-0.
Haron Shakava had to leave the game with an injury. He was replaced by Ali Abondo.
Evergreen Ugandan Jimmy Bageya, also a former Gor Mahia player from almost 10 years ago, pulled one back for City stars to make the score 3-1.
Missing from the Gor Mahia bench was coach Frank Nuttall who has returned to Scotland to address family issues. Yet even in his absence, Gor Mahia displayed the typical fluid and precise passing and crossing that has characterized their game this season.
In his absence , Frank Ouna took over as coach. Ouna praised his charges after the match.
“We still have tough matches coming up…remember we have a derby against AFC Leopards…and thus we must maintain focus and continue to fight. Overall, we were the best team and deserved to win.” he said to goal.com
His opposite number, Gabriel “Kingi” Njoroge admitted that he lost to a better side.
“We are not heartbroken since I believe we gave it our best shot but Gor are a quality side. We kept them on their toes and remember they have just arrived back from a tough competition in the Cecafa tournament, so they are in great form. We shall keep on fighting by rectifying our mistakes.” he said to supersport.
Gor Mahia now have 55 points from 21 matches. Their goal difference is 38 which is twice as high as the second best team Tusker whose goal difference is 19.
Bonface Oluoch – Musa Mohamed – Karim Nizigiyimana – Abouba Sibomana – Innocent Wafula (24. Enock Agwanda 75′) – Collins Okoth – Harun Shakava (30. Ali Abondo 62′) – Meddie Kagere – Godfrey Walusimbi (9. Timothy Otieno 87′) – Michael Olunga – Ernest Wendo.
Unused Substitutes: David Juma – Bernard Odhiambo – Eric Ochieng – George Odhiambo.
Gor Mahia will once again be hoping to put aside their off the pitch issues when they take on Nairobi City Stars on Saturday at Nyayo stadium. Though Gor Mahia have had issues to deal with, the players have always put on their best efforts. They know that no one is guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up. And of late players like Innocent Wafula and Enock Agwanda have really stepped up their efforts.
Wafula, who joined in January from Chemelil Sugar has been in scintillating form of late with his mazy runs down each flank and his ability to find team-mates in scoring positions with good passes. He has been a big key in Gor Mahia’s fluid attacks where the ball goes from one of the field to the other in seconds, leaving defences unable to settle. Wafula has now dislodged Ali Abondo from the starting line-up and he is taking every opportunity to cement his place.
Enock Agwanda for his part is not in the starting line-up but has proven to be the most effective substitute. With his power, he is a handful for tiring defenders. Coach Frank Nuttall mentioned that Agwanda has been working very hard in practice and is getting impatient with his place on the bench. However Agwanda need only be patient and continue working hard.
Though City Stars are at the second from bottom, Gor Mahia will be in no mood to underrate them especially since they beat Mathare United 2-0 in their last league match. The match will kickoff at 3pm Saturday at Nyayo stadium. Fans should show up in large numbers to at the very least bolster Gor Mahia’s finances through ticket sales. And given the fracas from last Wednesday at the CBD, perhaps the club and well meaning fans should engage in public relations exercises to show the public that most Gor Mahia fans are peaceful.