Patrick Odhiambo becomes Gor Mahia assistant coach

SoNy Sugar coach Patrick Odhiambo has confirmed to goal.com that he will be taking the position of assistant coach at Gor Mahia.

“Yes I am joining Gor Mahia but we are still negotiating some aspects of the contract that includes the years of stay,” he said to goal.com

As head coach Odhiambo led SoNy Sugar to an impressive 5th position in the 2018-2019 Kenya Premier League. He had previously coached at Muhoroni Youth and Chemelil Sugar.

He replaces Zedekiah Otieno who left to take the head coaching position at KCB. The decision was likely finalized after the return of coach Hassan Oktay from holiday.

Gor Mahia preparing for CECAFA Club Cup

In 2018, Francis Mustafa opened his Gor Mahia scoring account when Gor Mahia beat Vipers of Uganda 2-1

With the return of Oktay, Gor Mahia are now preparing for the 2019 edition of the CECAFA club cup which will start on July 6 in Rwanda.

According to the Star newpaper, Gor Mahia will face off with DC Motema Pembe of DRC, KMKM from Zanzibar and AS Ports of Djibouti in Group D .

Group A is composed of Rwanda’s Rayon Sport, TP Mazembe of the  Democratic Republic Congo, KMC (Tanzania) and Atbara of South Sudan while Group B has holders Azam of Tanzania, Mukura Victory (Rwanda), Bandari of Kenya and KCCA of Uganda.

Group C has APR (Rwanda), Green Buffaloes (Zambia), Proline of Uganda and Heegan of Somalia.

Gor Mahia finished 3rd in the 2018 edition, after losing yet again to bogey team Azam

SoNy Sugar refute reports of Tobias Otieno transfer

SoNy Sugar Team manager Emmanuel Geno has refuted reports that defender Tobias Otieno has joined Gor Mahia.

Otieno is still our player and we have not received any official approach from any club. Otieno has a running contract of four years and you should not believe the rumours purporting that he has signed for any club. Let me clarify that no one has approached us for another of our players, let alone Otieno,” Emmanuel Geno told 

Philemon and Kahata in action as Kenya sink to Algeria

Kenya has participated in the Africa cup of nations five previous times. And each time they have lost the opening game, often in convincing fashion. The 2019 addition of AFCON was no different as Kenya was floored by two first half goals.

Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata were in the starting line-up. Central defender Joash Onyango was sidelined with an injury. Former Gor Mahia players Michael Olunga, Musa Mohamed and Eric Ouma also saw action.

First a penalty slotted home by Qatari league top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah in the 37th minute. Then Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored from a cross in the 42nd minute. And it looked like Kenya was in trouble.

Kenya’s defence was at sixes and sevens in the first half. They had acute difficulty dealing with the long balls followed by diagonal runs that the Algerian side utilized. Often the diagonal ball left the attacker wide open with no defender in site, only for the Algerian attacker to miscue his first touch.

Kenya clearly suffered stage fright in the first half and if not for some timely tackles from Musa Mohamed, Philemon, Okumu and Abud Omar, matters would have been worse. They would have perhaps benefited from playing a team that has a similar style to Algeria and in front of a hostile crowd.

Francis Kahata had an off day. Whereas he is very good on the ball, his inability to shore up the defense left a huge gap on the left flank which Algeria exploited resulting in the penalty. To shore up the left flank, coach Sebastian Migne replaced Kahata with Eric Ouma Marcelo.

Algeria also applied the tactic of running at Kenyan defenders then tumbling at the slightest touch. Kenyans did not help themselves as they fell into this trap with a series of rash challenges. One such rash challenge resulted in a yellow card for Philemon Otieno. The second rash challenge from Dennis Odhiambo resulted in the penalty. Why Odhiambo would engage in a sliding tackle inside the box, knowing that the Algerians were falling at the slightest touch left many fans befuddled. Some wondered aloud why former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu was left out. Matters were not helped by the fact that Wanyama does not shore up the defensive midfield position as he once did.

Kenya’s performance in the second half was much better. Ouma not only solidified the left flank, he also made numerous forays upfront. The introduction of Johana Omollo created better coordination in midfield and Harambee stars were better able to keep the ball.

Still Michael Olunga never had a shot on goal. He was completely starved of the ball. Often Harambee stars tried to find him with a long ball. But he was often isolated with no team-mate in site to receive a head on pass.

Line-Up

Patrick Matasi, 20. Philemon Otieno, 3. Abud Omar, 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Musa Mohamed, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama, 11. Francis Kahata, 7. Ayub Timbe, 10. Eric Johanna, 14. Michael Olunga

Substitutes

Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 13. Eric Ouma, 15. David Owino, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 19. Ovella Ochieng, 8. Johanna Omollo, 16. Paul Were, 9. John Avire, 22. Masud Juma

Who is Patrick Odhiambo?

Following the departure of long serving assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno, who departed to take over the head coaching position at KCB a number of names have been mentioned as potential replacements.

Most have been former players given Gor Mahia’s tradition of selecting former club players for the position. Among those mentioned are Bobby Ogolla, Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”, Tom Ogweno, Jerim Onyango and Frank Ouna, all of whom have coached at Gor Mahia in some capacity.

The name that now appears to have risen above the rest is SoNy Sugar coach Patrick Odhiambo.

“Patrick has impressed the panellists with his achievements at Sony with a fairly young squad. He stands a high chance of getting the job,” said a Gor Mahia official to the Nation.

Odhiambo led the Awendo based millers to an impressive 5th position in the 2018-2019 Kenya Premier League. He was voted SJAK coach of the month in July of 2018.

Prior to SoNy Sugar, he also coached at Muhoroni Youth and Chemelil Sugar.

Kahata wishes Gor Mahia well as he departs

Midfield ace Francis Kahata, who has received numerous offers, most notably from Simba of Tanzania has finally confirmed his imminent departure from Kogalo. Kahata is thankful to the club.

“I believe I have done my job well here at the club together with my teammates. Gor has been like my second home since leaving Thika and I believe that I have given them my best in all those years,”  he said to Nairobi news.

Kahata is confident that the club will continue to thrive.

“I still believe that it is a good team with good players and they are capable of retaining the title in the new season as well and doing well in the Caf competitions,” he continued.

Kahata joined Kogalo in 2015 and has remained among the most consistent players. His play-making skills and his passing skills are the best this club has seen since the club’s revival in 2009.

There have been other midfielders who were better in other aspects such as work rate. But his play-making skills are unparalleled in this era.

Prior to joining Kogalo, Kahata was most synonimous with Thika United where he started his career while in primary school along with Peter Opiyo “Pinchez” in the Thika Youth System. He also had a loan spell in South Africa before proceeding to FC Tirana in 2014 where he played for two seasons.

Kahata has not made a decision on his next destination. At present he is focused on the Africa Nations cup which is kicking off next week and where he is certain to be in the starting line-up.

“It is such an honor being in this squad because there are so many players who were competing. Focus now for me is to do well for the team. It is prestigious being in the AFCON for the first time in 15 years and as a team, we will go out there to do our best,” Kahata said to Capital FM.

KPL transfer season officially open

The KPL transfer season is officially open. And apparently Gor Mahia have missed out on SoNy Sugar striker Derek Otanga who has joined newly promoted Wazito FC.

It is done, I have signed for Wazito FC and very soon I will be playing for them. I have a signed a four-year contract with them and am very happy to have sealed the deal. It is a new journey for me and I embrace it, my target will be to help them do better in the KPL next season. ”  Otanga told goal.com

Otanga’s decision is possibly due to the fact that at Kogalo, he would immediately face intense competition from the likes of Kipkirui, Samuel Onyango, Blackberry, Seskisambu and another striker whom Gor Mahia are certain to sign. That striker is rumoured to be Camerounian Charles Edoa Nga whom Gor Mahia are said to be still pursuing.

Wazito have also signed former Gor Mahia youth player Clifford Nyakeya whom Gor Mahia released to Mathare United.

Shakava motivated to work harder

When the provisional Harambee stars squad that was to train in France was named, Gor Mahia skipper Harun Shakava’s name was nowehere to be seen. This came as a surprise to many as Shakava had an excellent season and was the most consistent central defender at Kogalo.

Even after Brian Mandela Onyango was waylaid by an injury, Shakava was not called up as coach Migne named the final squad. Shakava is taking it all in stride.

“I cannot force anyone to call me, it will be out of order to do that. This is a challenge for me to continue working harder and focus on the ways of improving my game because maybe my best was not someone’s best. What I know is that my chances will come one day and no one will take that away from me.” he said to goal.com

Former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu faired only slightly better. He was named to the training squad but was later dropped. Allan Wanga , Cliffoed Miheso and Jesse Were were other surprise omissions.

“The truth is that I am taking everything positively, that is the only way to grow. I also urge striker Allan Wanga, Anthony Akumu and Jesse Were to take this snub as a challenge to give their best next season.” said Shakava

Three Gor Mahia players made it to the final squad: Joash Onyango, Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata. A slight improvement when compared to the last time Kenya qualified for the Africa Nations cup. On that occassion in 2004, no Gor Mahia or AFC Player was in the squad. Both teams were battling relegation.

Shakava for his part is not certain about where he will be playing when his contract expires.

“I have about six months remaining in my contract with Gor Mahia. I still don’t know whether I will be with them or not but years are not on my side so I just have to give my best wherever I will be.” concluded Shakava to goal

Gor Mahia transfer news June-12-2019

Gor Mahia organizing secretary Ronald Ngala has refuted claims that Gor Mahia have already signed SoNy Sugar striker Derek Otanga, an action which would be illegal since the transfer season has not started.

“We haven’t signed Otanga neither have we completed the signing of any new player. Treat it as rumours. The window is yet to open but we are in negotiations with a number of players who we intend to sign. We can’t reveal their names right now as the majority have running contracts with their clubs. We will, however, unveil them once we agree with their current clubs and when the window is open.” he said to the Star newspaper.

Otanga was the 5th leading scorer in the recently concluded campaign with 13 goals. He is also being pursued by Wazito FC, the new moneybags of the Kenya Premier League as well as by AFC Leopards.

The other players that Gor Mahia are pursuing may include the Camerounian Charles Edoa Nga. This according to reporter Bonface Osano. Edoa currently players in eSwatini. Osano reports that Gor Mahia have already signed him. Which is unlikely given that Ngala has made it clear that no player will be signed before the start of the transfer period.

Kerr: In Kenya I can only coach Gor Mahia

Kerr: In Kenya I can only coach Gor Mahia

Rumours have been flying around suggesting that new moneybags, Wazito FC have set their eyes on former Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr. Not only Wazito but even AFC Leopards were at one point rumoured to be interested on the former Gor Mahia tactician. But Kerr has rubished both rumours.

“I have not been approached by anyone from Kenya,” Kerr told goal.com in an interview.

He further stated that he is loyal only to Gor Mahia. This is true British trait.

“If it means coming back to Kenya, then I have to go to Gor Mahia. That is the team that I love in Kenya and will only return to coach them but not any other team.

Kerr recently quit as coach of Black Leopards after helping them stave off relegation. He had a brilliant start to the league but Kerr later got frustrated with leopards players whom he said were error prone. Kerr noted that his record in Kenya was excellent.

“It is always nice to be considered by teams from Kenya because that shows I did a good job while working at Gor Mahia but for now, I have not been approached.”

Kerr left Gor Mahia as perhaps the most popular coach ever at Gor Mahia. After quitting Black Leopards, he has been linked with a move to another South African side: Supersport United.

Mustafa named to Burundi AFCON Squad

Gor Mahia attacker Francis Mustafa has made it into the final Burundi squad that will play in the 2019 Africa Nations cup. The 23 year old who joined Gor Mahia in 2018, is listed as one of the midfielders. Also named is former Gor Mahia fullback Karim Nizigiyimana who is now at Vipers of Uganda.

This marks the first time Burundi has ever qualified for Africa’s premier football tournament. Burundi are in group B with Madagascar, Guinea and Nigeria.

Other players familiar to Kenyans in the team are Razak Fiston, formerly of Sofapaka and Laudit Mavugo who was once a Gor Mahia transfer target.

Sekisambu determined for more success

Attacker Erisa Sekisambu, who joined Kogalo in 2018, is satisfied with his first full season at the club.

“I am happy that I guided my team to the league championship in my first season. Generally, it was a good season for me,” Ssekisambu said to football 256.com

With Tuyisenge gone and Oliech unlikely to be motivated for a new season, Sekisambu is one of the players Kogalo will most rely on for goals. And he relishes the opportunity.

“I got playing time and exposure in the CAF Confederations where we reached the quarter-finals and I hope to put up a more better performance next season so that I can move to the next level.”

Coach Zico leaves for KCB

Gor Mahia’s assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno Zico has tendered his resignation to the club. He is set to join KCB FC as head coach.

Chairman Rachier confirmed Zico’s exit

“We have accepted Zico’s resignation and thank him for his dedicated service. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Rachier to Nairobi news.

Zico has been an integral part in Gor Mahia’s success under Frank Nuttall, Ze Maria, Dylan Kerr and Hassan Oktay.

As a player, He played for Gor Mahia starting in late 1989 and stayed on for almost a decade. He was head coach in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 he took Gor Mahia to the brink of winning the title. They were still in contention on the last day but needed Ulinzi to lose their last game. In the end, they finished second to Ulinzi.

During this period, he also had a brief stint as Harambee Stars coach. It was his team that ruined Uganda’s Cranes chanced of qualifying for AFCON 2012 when the game ended 0-0 in Kamapala, effectively ending Bobby Williamsons’s stint as Cranes coach. He then left for SoNy Sugar before returning again in 2015 as an assistant coach. Zico also ran for political office during the 2013 elections. He tried to be an MCA.

We thank Zico for his dedicated service and wish him the best at KCB.