Balinya: Gor Mahia is bigger and better than Yanga

New sensation Juma Balinya says he is happy to have joined Gor Mahia and looks forward to emulating the exploits of his compatriots like Sserunkuma and Kagere

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia’s new signing signing Juma Balinya says he is satisfied with his start to life in the Kenyan Premier League.

The Ugandan forward has also praised coach Steven Polack and also vowed that the Kenyan champions are on course to retaining the league title this season.

“I am happy and satisfied with how things are going so far. I have come in and got an understanding coach. New teammates who have quality and have helped me settle. We want to win the title this year and are on course to achieving that,” Balinya told Nairobi News.

The 22-year-old striker made a name for himself for his exploits in the Ugandan league last season where he emerged top scorer with 22 goals.

He joined Tanzanian giants Young Africans but failed to settle and was let go after just six months with three goals from 12 appearances.

“I have no issues with Yanga. They are a good team but I believe Gor Mahia are a bigger club, well-known in Uganda and have won more titles in the region and even in the continent. My brothers Khalid Aucho and Baba Kizito passed through this club and went on to do great things,” Balinya said.

On Sunday, Balinya grabbed a brace as Gor Mahia thumped Nzoia Sugar 3-0.

K’Ogalo are perched on top of the table, with a four-point cushion over second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz, despite having played one game less.

Gor Mahia have 44 points from 18 matches they have played so far.

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After raising concerns, Polack now happy with new signings

Two goal hero: Balinya

Last week, coach Steve Polack raised the alarm when he stated that some elements within the club were trying to sign players without his permission.

“They are a lot of people trying to bring players into the club without my authorisation and I find that to be very unprofessional. I am the head coach of the team and it is my job to recommend the players to the management to sign. No other person should do that without consulting me,” Polack told Nation Sport.

Polack noted that the club needed to be serious if they want to make an impression in continental events.

“We are a big team that regularly plays in Caf competitions and therefore have to sign quality players not every Tom, Dick and Harry,” he added.

On Nicholas Omondi, Polack stated that the player has potential but needs to work hard to upgrade his game.

“He is a good player, technically very gifted and has a lot of energy but he needs to polish up his game and become tactically astute. He is a young player and has time to learn but I am happy to have him at the club.” said Polack.

Polack was impressed with Juma Balinya’s performance on Sunday.

“Balinya couldn’t get a better debut than this. Actually, he could have scored a hat-trick but I think he got tired because he hasn’t played for a while and that’s why I took him off,” Polack told Standard Sports.

“I could have substituted him earlier but I was trying to give him a chance to get a hat-trick. Without doubt, he is going to be a very important player to our team.” he concluded.

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Polack on why Balinya missed Bandari match

Balinya watched from the terraces on Saturday

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack said he was eager to deploy new signing Juma Balinya against Bandari but his transfer paperwork had not gone through

“His paperwork is not ready yet, and we are working round the clock to make sure the issue is sorted out. I was intending to use him against Bandari because he showed me in training how good he is but we have to wait now”. he said to goal.com

Polack says he hopes Balinya will be available soon.

I don’t think he will be available for Wednesday when we face Sofapaka, I am not sure whether the issue will have been solved.I know the management is working to make sure that all is sorted and when we have the papers then you will see him play.”

Match Highlights

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Gor Mahia close in on Juma Balinya

Gor Mahia are pursuing Ugandan striker Juma Balinya who is currently a player for Young Africans of Tanzania

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia are on the verge of signing Ugandan striker Juma Balinya from Yanga SC as replacement for Yikpe Ghislain who was poached by the Tanzanian giants last month.

Balinya is already in the country and coach Steven Polack has told Nation Sport that he will assess the player in Tuesday’s training session at Camp Toyoyo grounds.

“The player arrived today (Monday) and I will asses him today to see if he is fit to play for Gor Mahia. I may either decide to sign him after watching him today or a couple of training sessions. If he is not fit, we will not consider his services,” said Polack.

Balinya terminated his two year contract with Yanga in December, 2019 due to non-payment of salary, the same situation that led Yikpe to abandon K’Ogalo and sign for the Dar es Salaam based side.

Apart from Yanga, Balinya has also played for Uganda Police FC, Vipers FC, Bunamwaya FC and Lweza FC in his home country.

Balinya, who finished last season as top scorer in the Uganda Premier League with 17 goals while featuring for Uganda Police FC, will have to complete with Nicholas Kipkurui to earn a place in K’Ogalo’s striking role.

Gor Mahia is looking to bolster its squad this season, more so the striking department following the exit of Yikpe, Ghanaian Francis Afriye and Tanzanian Dickson Ambudo who has left due to the current financial instability at the Kenyan Premier League 18-time champions.

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