Gor Mahia’s coach Awuono Anaba will not carry along any sacred cows in his squad now that he seeks to end K’Ogalo’s 16-year long wait for a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title.
Anaba, a Cameroonian, eyes to grab the silverware this season and has urged passionate fans to be patient with the team and keep on supporting them both in victory or defeat.
Gor has made heavy recruitment ahead of the season kick off early next month and Anaba will be spoilt for choice no that he has more than two players in every department. But he was quick to caution the players that only merit and performance on the pitch will influence his team selection.
From the goal post to the striking position, stiff competition is guaranteed for a first team place and some of the renowned players in Gor’s line-up will have to prove their mettle or be lucky to make the substitute bench.
“No player is guaranteed of a first team in Gor next season. Everyone will have to work hard to earn a place in the team and I will be using merit to name squads for each match from the start of the season to the end.
“I will be naming my team for a weekend match after gauging the players in training during the week, so they will have to compete,” said Awono.
Awono admitted that it was long since the 12 times local champions last won the league trophy but refused to commit himself on breaking the jinx for K’Ogalo noting that they would try and improve on last season’s performance having finished fourth.
“I cannot promise the league title for Gor fans, but we must try and improve on last year’s results. I know the pressure will be high from the fans, but I would like to urge them to be patient with the team and understand that in football there is always winning and losing.
“Our opponents also want to win and they always play even stronger against Gor, so fans should be patient with the team and wait for overall results at the end of the season,” said Awono.
The coach has had stints with a number of Cameroon sides including Bambutos as well as having a coaching stint in South Asia.
He added: “One thing for sure is that the forth coming season will be stronger than last season. Competition is going to be very high given that team like Sofapaka, Tusker, AFC Leopards and ourselves have done very good recruitments.”
Awono said he is not a fan of the rotational policy and insisted he will use his best squad in every match as he eyes a treble.
“We will be featuring in the continental championships, Top Eight competition, Cup competition and the KPL, but I don’t believe on the rotational policy. I will go for my best team in each match,” said the Cameroonian.
Gor has signed Ivo Mapunda, Wyclif Kasaya, David Owino, Yusuf Juma, Rama Salim, Ibrahim Kitawi, Victor Ali, George Midenyo, Baldwin Ngwa and Hugo Nzoka. But it also allowed Tony Onyango, Erick Masika, Ezekiel Odera, Haji Mwachoki, Dennis Okoth, Wycliffe Opondo, Ronnie Kagunzi and Graduce Ochieng to leave.