Thank you coach Hassan Oktay

Former Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay has left an indelible mark on the club, despite being coach for only a year. He will be remembered as the first coach who steered a Kenyan team to the group stage of a continental event and beyond. In the process, Kogalo recorded famous victories over Egyptian giants Zamalek as well as Hussein Dey of Algeria, Union Douala of Cameroun and Petro Atletico of Angola.

Oktay also steered Kogalo to the league title. This came despite a torrid start that saw the club lose to KCB and fans calling for the firing of the coach in only his second match.

In the end Oktay had to leave for Turkey in order to be near his parents who are both ailing from cancer. On leaving, Oktay said he will always have a high regard for Gor Mahia.

“I have coached in Turkey and won the league title there, also coached in Saudi Arabia and now Kenya with Gor Mahia, I will always respect Gor Mahia of all the teams I have handled in my career,” Oktay told Goal.

“You want me to talk bad about Gor Mahia, I cannot. I just cannot, they are the best club I have ever handled in my entire career and will always keep track with what they are doing even if I don’t return from my leave.

“I have a lot of respect for the club chairman [Ambrose Rachier], he is one man who is dedicated to make sure the club is managed well and I like how he has always done his work.”

On behalf of Gor Mahia online supporters club aka Gor Mahia bloggers branch, we wish a speedy recovery to Oktay’s parents. And we wish Oktay success in all his future endeavors.

Hassan Oktay has resigned

It is now official. Gor Mahia’s Turkish coach Hassan Oktay has resigned his position.

Additional reporting from the Standard

“Kindly accept my resignation as Gor Mahia FC head coach effective today [August 6], the sixth day of August 2019. As you are aware, the decision has been forced on me by the personal challenges I am facing here in Europe,” Oktay said.

The announcement comes as a shocker as the Turkish-Cypriot had initially asked for six days off and travelled to his native country Turkey for family issues.

Oktay has, however, thanked the club for the opportunity they gave him to manage the Kenyan football giants.

“I wish to thank you and the entire club, including the fans for the opportunity you accorded me to manage this great club. I also wish you guys all the best in your forthcoming assignments.” The Turkish-Cypriot added.

The club has accepted Oktay’s resignation and thanked him for his services.

“The club has accepted Oktay’s wish to terminate his contract and thanks to him for his services. The club also prays for Oktay’s situation to get better,” the club confirmed.

Oktay took over K’Ogalo in December 2018 to succeed Dylan Kerr, who had also resigned from his position after only one season.

The resignation of the tactician is a huge blow to the KPL champions who have also had their assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno leave the club to join KCB as their head coach.

Gor has also lost their key players to other clubs who were pivotal to their KPL glory last week.

Attacking midfielder Francis Kahata joined Simba SC, striker Jacques Tuyisenge left for Petro Atletico while their then captain Harun Shakava recently left for Zambian side Nkana FC.

Oktay parts ways with K’Ogalo after just one season in charge and helping the club lift their 18th KPL title.

Rachier: We may have to replace Oktay

Gor Mahia are in the dark as to whether Hassan Oktay is returning. As such, chairman Ambrose Rachier is preparing to take contingency measures according to goal.com

Additional reporting from goal.com

The KPL reigning champions are not sure whether Oktay will return to the club after he requested for leave and has not responded in time

The club will find a replacement should head coach Hassan Oktay fail to return from compassionate leave.

Oktay requested for leave to attend to family issues but is yet to join Gor Mahia who are preparing to take on Aigle Noir of Burundi in the CAF Champions League preliminary clash on August 10.

The club’s chairman Ambrose Rachier has told Goal he is ready to appoint Oktay’s successor should the Cypriot-Turkish tactician fail to report back.

“After the five days, he requested for leave ended yesterday [August 5], I dropped him an e-mail and he is yet to respond. We will wait until tomorrow [August 7] and see whether he will have responded before we are forced to make another decision,” Rachier told goal.com

Rachier added the club is prepared to find a quick solution if Oktay doesn’t return.

“Whether he will return or not, we are set not to be caught [with our] pants down. I still have the list of 53 coaches who applied for the job in November alongside him and I will chat and probably have one take the role should Oktay not return at all,” he revealed.

Oliech to assume technical role

Gor Mahia attacker Dennis Oliech, who is currently on injury list, has been called upon to take the role of assistant coach. Now that Coach Oktay is away, Patrick Odhiambo will take over as head coach with Oliech as his assistant.

“Now that Oliech is still not fit to play and owing to his vast experience, we have appointed him on acting capacity to deputise Patrick Odhiambo who is also the acting head coach as we await a word from Oktay.” said Ronald Ngala to Citizen Sports

Meawnhile Gor Mahia have said they are fully behind coach Oktay.

“As Gor Mahia family, we are fully behind Oktay as he seeks to deal with personal issues back home. We have given him a minimum of five days,” said CEO Omondi Aduda to the Standard.

Oktay is said to be in Turkey to take care of both his parents who have cancer.

” Oktay may or may not come back. He has been having serious family issues for long and we even thought he would not come back from leave. He has told us he will be back in case his parents health improve, otherwise he will write to the chairman to look for an alternative should need arise.” said Ronald Ngala to Citizen Sports

Oktay going to Turkey, may not return

Gor Mahia’s 2019-2020 season could be thrown into disarray. Coach Hassan Oktay has been granted leave to sort out family related issues and may not return.

“Gor Mahia are a big club in East Africa and Kenya and one needs to put your brain and your all to handle such a great team. But for now I am faced with a number of family issues which have affected me and I cannot concentrate. I am really struggling to concentrate and I must go home to sort out the issues first before I know my next move ” Oktay told goal.com

He is unsure if he will return

“I want to go on Tuesday and will see if I manage to sort out the problems way in advance, then I will come back, but if not, then I will write to the chairman to ask him to get another coach.”

He further stated that it would take 5 days to make a decision.

 “I want to take like five days, but if my problems persist then I will write to the chairman to get a new coach.

“I am not running away, no, we have bought good players this transfer window and I know the team will perform very well. The team will win the league and I know they will perform well in the CAF champions league. We have signed a top-class goalkeeper and also two good strikers, I know they will help the team to do well. I will really want to handle the new players but unless my problems back home are sorted ” he concluded.

Oktay also lauded the club officials.

“I am very happy with the two officials [Rachier and Jolawi], they are very special people for the club,. They are very dedicated and working tirelessly for the club, Gor Mahia is a fantastic football club and with or without me they will do well in the Caf Champions League this season.” he told goal.com

Gor Mahia are scheduled to play in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League on the weekend of August 10 which is about 11 days away. This means assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo will be the man to come up with a strategy Aigle Noir of Burundi.

Oktay deservedly April coach of the month

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay crowned a succesful season when he was named April Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month Award winner. It marks his second award. He was also named SJAK winner in February. Its a deserved award as Oktay was the first coach to steer a Kenyan tea past the group stages of the Africa cup.

“This feels as a fair reward for a difficult job. I’m happy for what my team accomplished,” the jubilant Oktay exclaimed before launching into the so called big teams for not offering sufficient challenge.

Oktay was able to keep players composed even as other teams played their best matches against Gor Mahia. Every team and every player plays extremely hard against Gor Mahia.

“We have dropped points against teams sitting lower in the table but for the big games there was no competition. We prepared for the big games then they turn out to be walks in the park,” he said to Citizen sport.

Oktay also deserves plaudits for keeping the team calm and focused amid player revolts and other issues that plagued the playing unit this season.

Oktay did an excellent job of rotating players to keep players fresh and injury free in a season that was so physically demanding that sometimes Kogalo played four matches in one week.

And Oktay himself had to stay calm and keep the players believing in his philosophy after a poor start that saw many naysayers say that Gor Mahia would struggle to finish in the top 3. Matters came to a head when Kogalo lost to KCB at Machakos and fans demanded that Oktay be fired.

Kerr Resigns at Black Leopards

Former Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr who left for South Africa at the end of last season, has resigned from Black Leopards, the team he joined.

“Yes, he has sent his resignation letter but as a team, we are closed for the season now but we will sit down and release an official statement on the way forward,” Chairman David Thidiela said to Limsports Zone.

This season Black Leopards, finished in 13th place with 7 wins, 9 draws and 14 losses. They finished two points above the relegation zone. Kerr is said to have been very frustrated with his playing unit at the end of the season.

Black Leopards is one of the best supported teams in South Africa, drawing 11,000 fans to their home games, behind only Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Oktay: Injuries decimating the playing Unit

Stalwart attacker Dennis Oliech is out for the rest of the season. He broke his hand in the match against Western Stima after colliding with an opponent and landing awkwardly.

Aside from Oliech, coach Oktay stated that the tight schedule is taking its toll on the playing unit in terms of injuries.

“Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch is sick, Jacques Tuyisenge as an ankle problem same as defenders Charles Momanyi and Shafik Batambize, while Shaban Odhoji is also struggling. All I want is to get a report from the medical stuff before I know what to do.” Oktay told goal.com

Oktay also re-asserted that the blunt attack is the culprit in the last two games.

“That is normal to drop points, it normal and in football that is normal, Against KCB we had injuries and we were losing 3-0 but managed to get a draw despite the mising seven chances. We were supposed to get maximum points from KCB,”

“It was also the same thing against Western Stima, we dominated the match and hit the post twice plus a number of missed chances but we finally dropped points because Stima came looking for a point.” Oktay continued.

Oktay Defends Odhoji, blames attack

Shaban Odhoji has been having a good run between the posts. But on Thursday against KCB Fans faulted him for the goals especially the third one where he was caught out of position. However Coach Oktay is adamant that Gor Mahia would have won that game if they took their chances.

I can’t blame my keeper for those mistakes because they play as a team. Why is it that when strikers miss chances in any given match, they are not at fault but when a keeper concedes a goal, he has committed a mistake?” Oktay told goal.com

Oktay is seeking to build Odhoji’s confidence so that the custodian can build on his good run.
“Odhoji has been marvellous for us in the last few matches and we cannot crucify him just for one or two mistakes. He was fantastic in the second half of the season, we did not concede and I like his attitude because he always leads the team from behind.” he continued.

Oktay has his work cut out to sharpen the attack
“We were on top in the second period, I lost count of the chances we created. I guess we had around seven or eight chances that my strikers could not put away. Mustafa (Francis) missed four and scored one, Jacques Tuyisenge missed two and I think Boniface Omondi squandered another,” said Oktay

Oktay knows that Gor Mahia cannot afford to relax since Sofapaka are breathing down their neck, only six points behind. Gor Mahia cannot afford another slip up against Westerm Stima on Sunday.

“It was a game we deserved to win but when you don’t use your chances, be assured of dropping points and that is what happened to us. I am happy with the draw because KCB also played well and never gave us time to play our game.” he concluded.

Oktay praises Ze Maria

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay attributes the team’s improved performance after a poor start to the fact that the team has now adjusted to his tactics.

“I put my own philosophy and it has worked and I believe they are going to get better. Even in our first game in our loss against Bandari, I said we going to get better and you can see that happening every day,” Oktay said after the Petro game.

Oktay further thinks that the previous coach Dylan Kerr benefited from the foundation laid by the previous coach Ze Maria.

“At the start of my tenure, they struggled to get what I needed from them. The other coach (Dylan Kerr) had a different philosophy but the Brazilian (Ze Maria) laid the foundation for this group. A little bit of tiki-taka football, slow motion and the other guy (Kerr) who came took the benefit from him but I changed everything from the scratch. ” said Oktay to futaa.com

Oktay says his attention now shifts to the domestic scene

“As a coach, you must strive to win the league first but you can’t ignore the other competitions you are in too. Times it’s hard to balance this because I have to rotate due to the schedule we have. A time you have injuries and you have to force your players to play. Like Muguna (Kenneth) will be out for another week or ten days and I have to find able replacements in his position. It’s my job to do that,”

Gor Mahia open their 2019 FKF cup campaign against Kenpoly on Wednesday.

Oktay is not coach yet

In a confusing turn of events, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has told the Daily Nation that Hassan Oktay will not be named head coach until other candidates are assessed as well.

Story from the Daily Nation

Hassan Oktay is not yet Gor Mahia coach but is among the four possible candidates in the race to take over the vacant head coach position, club’s chairman Ambrose Rachier has clarified.

Rachier has said that Oktay will face off with Stefano Maccopi from Italy, former Asante Kokoto coach Steven Polack (Finland) and a fourth coach who is believed to be of Russian descent.

The successful candidate will step in the shoes vacated by Englishman Dylan Kerr who has since joined up South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Black Leopards.

Press reports had on Sunday indicated that Oktay had taken over the reins at the Sportpesa Premier League defending champions and he even gave halftime pep talk during K’Ogalo’s 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks in the Kenya Premier League Super Cup at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Oktay will also travel with Gor Mahia to Blantyre as they seek to defend their slim 1-0 win against Nyasa Big Bullets in Caf Champions League preliminary round. The winner of this tie will meet the victor between Cameroonian side USM de Loum and Nigerian side Lobi Stars.

Rachier has  described Oktay as an experienced coach and affordable placing the Turkish-Cypriot in pole position to be named as Kerr’s successor. “Hassan (Oktay) has a lot of experience coaching in West Ham, he has also won the league in Thailand and speaks very good English having worked in a premier league team as an assistant coach, we felt attracted,” Rachier said.