Gor Mahia youth clinch Nairobi regional league


Gor Mahia U19 side are emulating the senior side. As the senior side marches towards an unbeaten season, the youth side had an equally impressive season in the Nairobi regional league

courtesy of the Nation

Gor Mahia Youth were on Sunday crowned champions of the Nairobi Regional League after dispatching Naivas FC 5-1 in an entertaining play-off match at Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi’s Jericho Estate.

The K’Ogalo junior side had emerged top in zone ‘D’ of the Provincial League while Naivas had topped zone ‘B’. Kakakuona topped zone A while Uweza topped zone C.

However in the play-offs that begun on Saturday, Gor Youth dispatched Kakuona 4-0 while Naivas beat Uweza 2-1 to set up yesterday’s sumptuous final.

ONYANGO STOOD OUT

Gor striker Derrick Onyango, a Form Four candidate at Highway Secondary School in Nairobi, was the hero yesterday, claiming a hat-trick to help his side rally from a goal down to bag the trophy while Clifford Nyakeya and Joseph Waruinge added the other goals.

Despite the defeat, Naivas will join Gor in competing in the National first division league next term.

Naivas begun strongly, rattling Gor with an early goal when Constant Ouma pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the area and raced forward to make a sublime finish, beating Gor’s goalie Vincent Odhiambo to the far left corner of his post in the second minute.

However from then on, Onyango dominated the show, hauling his side level in the eighth minute through a low shot and made it 3-0 in the 34th minute from the spot.

“The boys have been together for long and they played with determination. They are motivated and want to emulate the senior side,” Gor Youth head coach Maurice Onyango said after the match.

Playing with grace and composure, Onyango completed his hat-trick five minutes after the interval with a simple tap in after being played in by striking partner Daniel Otieno in a free flowing move.

In the regional league, Gor Youth amassed 72 points after winning 23 matches, drawing three and losing two. Onyango’s boys will now shift focus on the Nairobi Champions Cup where they face Kenpoly this weekend.

Gor Mahia U19 setup faces major test

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.

Nondi in earlier action. Image courtesy of Odhiambo KGM

 

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

Friendly to raise funds for U19 team

This Saturday, the Gor Mahia senior side will play yet another friendly against their junior counterparts at the City stadium. The match kicks off at 3pm.

The match will be used to raise funds for the junior  side which finished  atop the standings  in the Nairobi county league and are preparing for Provincial League promotion play offs against winners of other zones. There are no league matches this weekend since this is a FIFA calendar designated week for international matches.

Secretary General Chris Omondi has challenged the club’s fan base to attend the match to support the U19 team.

We call upon loyal fans of the club to turn up in large number and witness what the club is up to in terms of identifying and nurturing young talent as feeder systems to the senior team and to assist the juniors meet some of their financial obligations, he said to the club’s site

Entry fees will be KES 200 for all entry points

Whereas we often critique the EC for various mis-steps, they deserve credit for taking steps to maintain the U19 team at a time when virtually no other KPL side has a standing U19 team. And of course the Gor Mahia fans foundation deserves significant credit for the steps they have taken to maintain the U19 team. This is a chance for other fans to join in.

And this is a chance for fans to go and evaluate the upcoming talent and find out which ones are good enough to be promoted to the senior team next season. And coach Frank Nuttall will be there to see which players he can use in the near future.

The mark of a good youth program is not how many games they win but whether or not they are producing players who are good enough to play at the next level. And this is how the current coaching staff should be judged.

Interview with Manasseh Otieno on Gor Mahia U19


In this video, Manasseh Otieno of the Gor Mahia fans foundation and coach Maurice Onyango Ogutu discuss at length the Gor Mahia U19 team.

In the video, Mr. Otieno explains that the Gor Mahia fans foundation decided to partner with the club when they found out that club was forming a youth team. The goal of the youth team is to develop players for the senior team and possibly for other clubs either at home or abroad.

This is a good initiative that deserves the support of fans. The interview appeared on Lolwe TV.