After finishing the first leg and after a long international break that saw several Gor Mahia players participate in AFCON qualifiers for various national teams, Gor Mahia will now shift their focus to the GoTV Shield.
Kogalo will kick off their 2015 campaign against Langata Gremio on 24th June (Wednesday) at City stadium starting 3pm.
Those players who only played in the AFCON qualifiers such as Sibomana and Glay will likely have rested enough to play against Gremio.
However those who traveled to Ethiopia will likely need more rest. The technical bench will have to be judicious about giving players adequate rest, after all the primary goal of Gor Mahia this season is to win the league. Squad rotation is a critical pillar of success because it allows players to get sufficient rest and reduce the incidence of injuries.
Nevertheless Frank Ouna suggested that the players would only be given one day rest.
“A number of our key players will be involved for their national teams and so, they will have Monday as resting day before we prepare for the GoTV match to be played on Wednesday,” said Ouna to the club site.
Some players need not only physical but also psychological rest. Boniface Oluoch has had a torrid time being pilloried by various media outlets. He probably needs some time off to get in the right frame of mind for the resumption of the league campaign.
In any case Gor Mahia has a perfectly capable backup goalkeeper in Jerim Onyango who has not played much this season but appears content to be the backup keeper.
“Many have spoken about my lack of play time at the club this season but as a team player and captain I have to say that I am proud of the overall performance by my teammates. Achieving what we did in the last six months needs team effort and that is what we got.
“We shall continue working as a team and when called upon I will represent K’Ogalo just as I have done in the last five seasons. The competition has brought out the best of me and I feel I am in the best shape ever. I want to play, that’s my goal. But sometimes you have to be patient; if there is an opportunity I want to play as well as I can and help the team.”said Jerry Jagoal to the club site.
Another player who deserves rest is Michael Olunga. The dependable scorer has played in the Olympic qualifiers, AFCON qualifiers and CHAN qualifiers. Perhaps this is an opportunity to rest Olunga for the league and give players like Timothy Otieno, Blackberry and others a chance to prove they are worth a place in the starting line-up.
Musa Mohamed and Haron Shakava were also dropped from the CHAN squad due to illness and/or injuries. Rushing them back into the playing field may be ill-advised. In their place Gor Mahia can deploy Dirkir Glay who is fresh from the mammoth tasking of marking Emmanuel Adebayor. Not much has been seen from Bernard Odhiambo who looked very promising during pre-season friendlies. Pairing him with experienced players like Glay and Sibomana could be a useful growing opportunity for him.