Gor Mahia seeking to bolster the attack

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has told Capital FM that the club is in contact with Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere and is weighing options to bring him back. Kagere was one of the pivotal players in Gor Mahia’s record breaking season in 2015 and scored what is arguably the goal of the year, a gem against Nakuru All Stars.

“We are talking with Meddie and also consulting with the coach because he has to be involved. Meddie is interested in coming back and we are also interested in bringing him back but it will depend on the dynamics of the coach. We are definitely looking for a striker,” Rachier said to Capital FM.

Gor Mahia are hamstrung by the fact that the quota of foreigners is limited to five per team and Gor Mahia has already reached that quota. And all five foreign players are playing well.

“For sure it is giving us a headache if we get in any foreigner because we already have five. We are quite satisfied with the performance of those we already have, but one may be sacrificed in the interest of having a balanced team,” Rachier added.

The addition of Kagere would create a formidable partnership upfront. Tuyisenge and Kagere are familiar with each other’s style of play and would mesh together quickly. Tuyisenge has a phenomenal strike rate of six goals and seven games.  Yet he does not think he has hit his best form yet.

“I did not participate in Gor Mahia’s pre season due to injury. I came in when others had already played several matches and I have had to play catch up. But I am happy so far with my form but I am yet to hit my peak,” he said in a TV interview on Supersport.

Tuyisenge went on to state that the welcome he received from Gor Mahia players and officials was one of the factors that has enabled his success at the club

“They welcomed me well, encouraged me when I was still out injured and now that I am playing often, they are giving me all the support.”

“Mine now is to work hard to improve and help my team. I know everybody wants me to perform better than Olunga (Michael) and (Kagere) Meddie, but I will need some time to get to my best. However I can also add that I am surprised by my scoring record to this point.” he continued.

Meanwhile former Gor Mahia striker Timothy Otieno has categorically stated that he has no intention of returning to Gor Mahia.

“My form had been affected by an injury and by the time I came back, Nuttall made it clear that he did not need my services. He even suggested that I go on loan to  Muhoroni Youth but when I declined, he told me categorically that he will not use me and it got so bad we were not even on talking terms. I was therefore glad when the opportunity came to join Rangers and I do not intend to go back to Gor Mahia anytime soon,” he said according to betway.co.ke

At this point Otieno who has scored four goals this season and won player of the month in March, has stated that he will either join AFC Leopards in June or stay at Rangers to complete his loan spell.

Gor Mahia’s options for June transfer season

Gor Mahia will be looking for options to sharpen their attack which has been blunt during the June transfer season. However club official Ronald Ngala has ruled out signing any foreign players.

“We cannot sign any foreign players in June. We already have five foreigners and the only way we can add a foreign player to our squad is by releasing one of the five we have. Right now we do not have plans of axing any of the foreigners which means we will only sign local players in June” said Ngala to futaa.com

Former club striker Meddie Kagere has been training with the team at Camp Toyoyo and rumours have surfaced that he could return to the club in June.  But the club already has five foreigners which is the KPL lilmit. The five are Karim Nizigiyimana, Jacques Tuyisenge, Abouba Sibomana, Khalid Aucho and Geoffrey Walusimbi.

Ultimately however, it is up to coach Ze Maria to determine whether keeping the current set of foreigners is more important than finding a fit and sharp striker who can put the ball in the net regularly. So Kagere could very well convince the coach.

Another option that has been discussed is to recall in form striker Timothy Otieno. A club official mentioned this as a likely possibility.

“It was the former coach Frank Nuttall, who did not give Timothy Otieno a chance to play. He is a very good striker as we have already seen and we intend to recall him during the June transfer window.” said an official to goal.com

Still it is difficult to understand how Nuttall would have selected Otieno ahead of Michael Olunga or Meddie Kagere.

Otieno has been in form and was named KPL player of the month in March. He is currently among the leagues leading scorers.

But Otieno appears to be liking his time at Rangers.

“I feel good as a player because, as you all know, I didn’t get any playing time from where I moved (Gor Mahia) so I take this time to thank my team-mates and the coach (Zedekiah Otieno) who believed in me to allow me showcase what I have; and you can see that within the first two months I have emerged the best player. I think this season is mine, ” he said to futaa.com last week.

New coach Ze Maria will need to do a lot of convincing for Otieno to seriously consider returning.

Rachier dimisses critics, says there is no corruption

Chairman Ambrose Rachier has dismissed critics who of late have been accusing him of mishandling and even embezzling club funds. Rachier is adamant that for the past two years, there has been no money to embezzle.

“Corruption comes in when there is money to be stolen. Where was the money in Gor Mahia? Gor had no sponsor, I’m the one who knows where the money to run this club came from. All these noise you hearing now is from the fact that we have two sponsors now. The noise makers are targeting to control the new found money,” he said to Citizen FM.

A section of Fans have been clamouring for elections. Some have even started campaigning. One fellow told a local radio station that if he were to become chairman, the mashemeji derby would raise Ksh 50 million per game. But Rachier insists that there will be no elections anytime soon. He however will call a meeting to discuss the current status of the club.

“I will soon call for a SGM to explain to members the new developments, especially as far as the sports act of 2013 is concerned. Then from the SGM if they want elections I will call for elections. But not when the season is on.”  he continued.

Fans will be keen to see Rachier account for among other things:
1. Gate collections
2. How is the sponsor money spent?
3. How is the kit sponsorship money spent
4. What are the proceeds from the Gor Mahia SACCO and how are they spent?
5. Other revenue streams such as Gor Mahia water which retails for Ksh 50 and the Gor Mahia bread

Note that Gor Mahia water was available for sale at the stadium on Saturday and a club official said the club was happey with the revenue.

“It is a new revenue stream for us and we are urging our fans to support us by buying the water.” said the official.

Rachier went on to say that he will fulfill the pledge he made in 2008 to build a stadium for the club.
“We have land in Embakasi, but if the squatters are still there, then we will activate plan B. There is land at Kasarani that the new FKF president says we can build a stadium. I’m talking to partners to make this a reality.”

Meddie Kagere on the way back?

Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere, who left the club in December is back in town and may start training with the team again with a view to rejoining the club in June.

“He is our former player and because he is free, he has been talking to some of us but we will see what happens when June comes,” said Ronald Ngala told Goal.com

It is impossible to tell what will happen in June and by then he may have already found another club. Ngala also noted that Gor Mahia has already reached its quota for foreign players.

“I do not blame him for his earlier actions, it was evident there was someone, who misled him. He is a quality player and we would like him to play for us, however, we currently do not have a place for him since we have exhausted the number of foreign players in the team.” he said.

Chairman Ambrose Rachier explained that Kagere left because his demands were too exhorbitant for the club at the time.

“Meddie left because we could not afford him in December. We had no sponsor and he was asking for six million shillings which we didn’t have. We have now had a discussion and he will be back,” Rachier to Citizen FM.

Gor Mahia transfer news Jan 23

Gor Mahia official Ronald Ngala has come out to deny that the club owes Khalid Aucho alot of money.

“What is Aucho talking about? I fail to understand, in fact I am dumbfounded! Which salary is he talking about? And how much is it? As a matter of fact, we have cleared players’ salaries and allowances. The only thing we have not cleared is winning bonuses which is not much and that is not a big deal to us, so Aucho should say how much he is owed. If he wants salary increment and contract extension, why can’t he come we solve that issue instead, of trying to do things the way he is doing?” said Ngala to goal.com

Aucho has earlier on claimed that his salay and bonuses are in arrears.

“Hopefully I will be back in Kenya end of this week or early next week but I do not know whether I will be playing for Gor Mahia or not. They owe me a lot of money, from allowances to salaries and no one is talking to me. I want to come and have a talk with them and that will determine my future with the team which I regard highly in my heart.” he said to goal.com on Friday.

Meanwhile another club official Anima “ferrari”Oketch has come out to explain why the club opted to pursue Jacque Tuyisenge instead of fighting to keep Meddie Kagere who had a stellar year in 2015

Speaking to The Nairobian, K’Ogalo’s Deputy Secretary General Anima Ferrari said it makes a lot of economic sense to bring the Rwandan player on board.

“We will be spending Sh4 million on Tuyisenge. This however will be paid in a span of two years. That is quite fair. Kagere on the other hand demanded Sh2.5 million per year, which adds up to Sh5 million in two years,” Ferrari told The Nairobian.

The club spent $40,000 (about Sh4 million) to capture Tuyisenge had elicited debate with many questioning the move.

“Tuyisenge is in his twenties, he is still very young and can be of much value to the club in future. Kagere, though good and tested in the KPL, is much older. It would therefore be unwise to spend millions, which we do not have anyway, just to have his services for the 2016 season,” added Ferrari who believes the new acquisition will do just fine in the league.


Kagere set to leave Gor Mahia as team leaves for Ethiopia

Gor Mahia will need to defend the three titles they won in 2015 without  striker Meddie Kagere. The club has been in extended negotiations with the Rwandese marksman but failed to agree to terms.

We have tried our best to negotiate with Meddie Kagere but it’s quite unfortunate we will not be able to renew his contract because we can’t meet his high demands,” said chairman Ambrose Rachier to the club site.

Kagere was an influential player for the club in 2015. He scored 13 goals in the Kenya premier league to finish among the top scorers. Most notable was his gem against Nakuru All Stars which is arguably the best goal scored in Kenya in 2015 in all competitions.

With Kagere gone, Gor Mahia now have one week to identify a replacement before the CAF deadline. One would hope that they have a backup plan. There have been reports swirling that the club was pursuing another Rwandese striker Jacque Tuyisenge but those reports have not yielded anything.

Meanwhile on Tuesday Kogalo will leave for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to play in the St.George’s 80th anniversary Cup. St George is the most popular club in Ethiopia and was formed in 1935. They have won the Ethiopian league 27 times.

“The event could not have come at a better time considering that we have key matches coming up month. We are really grateful for the invitation,”

Kagere feels like the forgotten man

Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere has told the Nation newspaper that he feels unappreciated and forgotten by the club. Speaking from his base in Rwanda, Kagere who is yet to renew his contract went further to say that even the media did not appreciate his contribution.

“They forgot about me, I was forgotten even in the awards. Kenya is not my home, he said.

Kagere says he has better offers on the table. This makes it increasingly unlikely that he will return.

“There are four clubs in different countries that have tabled good offers, but I am still talking with them (Gor). Gor’s offer is significantly lower than these other clubs but I’ll let you know when I make up my mind. If it (the talks) fails then I’ll proceed to a new destination,” he continued.

There are reports that he has been offered up top Ksh 9 million by various clubs including his former club K Tiranna of Albania.

When Kagere joined Kogalo in January, he stated that his  goal is to return to Europe as soon as possible. He repeated the claim.

“The KPL is very competitive. It is even more competitive than Rwanda and certainly more competitive than Uganda, but my aim is to return to Europe,” he continued to the Nation.

He has contributed immensely to the club in 2015. But Every footballer has ambitions. One cannot fault Kagere for seeking greener pastures after all he probably only has a few more years left.

Gor Mahia would therefore be wise to start looking elsewhere to complete their CAF squad before the January 2015 deadline.

Gor Mahia transfer news December 28

Some good news for Gor Mahia is the fact that Burundian right full back Karim Nizigiyimana has extended his stay at Gor Mahia by one and a half years.

“He has extended his stay by another one and a half years after agreeing terms with the management,” said a source to goal.com

The extension will see him stay at the club until mid 2018. Nizigiyimana has been one of the best players not just at Gor Mahia but in the country. He led the league in assists with his ability to make well timed surges upfront and send inch perfect crosses.

He was the runner up in the player of the year vote behind team-mate Michael Olunga. His performances have seen him receive a call up to the Burundi national team for which he is appreciative.

“Gor Mahia has helped him a lot especially with his intentional career and was delighted to extend his stay especially after he was called to the Burundi national team.” continued the source.

One player who is likely to leave is Meddie Kagere who has demanded a Ksh 6 million sign on fee before he can extend his stay at the club.

“I can confirm that he asked for Sh6million but we don’t have the money. Gor Mahia has no sponsor and there is no way we can pay this,” said a source to goal.com

With Kagere and Olunga departing as expected, the club will need to find a reliable striker to replace them. Some reports suggest that Gor Mahia coould be pursuing Jacque Tuyisenge, the Rwandese striker who excelled at the 2015 CECAFA senior challenge cup.

Either way, Gor Mahia will need to rush their player signings as the deadline for the 2016 Africa champions league player registrations is fast approaching. In 2015, CAF extended the deadline to January 2016.

High flying Gor Mahia leads league in all statistics

Kogalo ended the first leg on a high note beating traditional rivals Tusker 1-0 at Kisumu Moi stadium. The win over Tusker encapsulates the kind of season Gor Mahia are having. Tusker is usually a difficult team for Gor Mahia yet this time Gor Mahia outplayed Tusker in all facets of the game.

As the first leg of the season ends, Gor Mahia have a commanding 12 point lead atop the standings. They have also scored more goals than any other team. With 30 goals, Gor Mahia have scored 8 more than second best Sofapaka. Gor Mahia have also conceded the least number of goals, having conceded only 6, which is 5 goals fewer than second best Ushuru FC.

At this point last season, Gor Mahia were atop the standings but barely. They led by one point. They had lost 3 games and drawn four including a shock loss to bottom placed Nakuru All Stars, a loss to Bandari and a dissapointing loss to arch rivals AFC.

This season, Gor Mahia have won 12 matches, which is 4 better than Ulinzi , the next best team. And Gor Mahia has only been forced to 3 draws and is the only unbeaten side so far.

Frank Ouna, a member of the technical bench for the past two years, says it is a team effort that is responsible for Gor Mahia’s good season.

“I thank the team, from the management, technical bench, players, fans and all those who have contributed to our success so far. It is a feat which cannot be achieved by one party rather it is a collective responsibility. We are happy finishing the first leg on top of the table, unbeaten and we hope we can maintain that in the second leg,” Ouna told goal.com after the match.

Every team that plays Gor Mahia works twice as hard in preparation as they would against other teams and Ouna is perfectly aware that the second leg will be challenging.

“It will be difficult to finish the season unbeaten for sure; however we are halfway done on the part of defending our title. We just need positive mind going forward and be focused for the entire second half. We have a chance of making it three titles out of three, something we are keen to achieve.” continued Ouna.

Finishing unbeaten would be a good feat but Gor Mahia players should only focus on winning one game at a time and not put undue pressure on themselves.

The man whose strike secured all three points Meddie Kagere has promised more goals.

“I came here to score goals and that is what I want to continue doing,” Kagere told Goal on Saturday. “I am a striker and the work of a striker is to score goals. I will work hard and continue to score goals because I want to help my team retain the Kenyan Premier League title.” said Kagere to goal.com

Kagere also praised the team atmosphere in the team which he said made his transition from Albania to Kenya easy

“I must thank my teammates for my short success since joining this great club. I have settled in well and I have no problems at all. My work now is to continue talking and walking on the pitch by scoring goals and assisting this club.”

Aside from the second leg of the league, Gor Mahia will be playing in the CECAFA club cup in July as well as the KPL Top 8 and FKF cup. Gor Mahia players will also be busy with international duty. Already Ali Abondo, Olunga, Collins Okoth and Boniface Oluoch have left to join the national team in Rwanda while Dirkir Glay has traveled to West Africa to team up with the Liberian national team.



Gor Mahia continues to march on with big win over Tusker

Nizigiyimana delivered the inch perfect cross that led to the goal Image courtesy of Steve Awuor

Gor Mahia secured a huge win over Tusker beating them 1-0 at Moi stadium Kisumu. In the process, Gor Mahia kept their 10th succesive clean sheet and ended the first leg of the 2015 Kenya Premier League unbeaten

courtesy of goal.com
Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere scored the only goal of the match in the 78th minute to ensure K’Ogalo finished at the top of the log with 39 points. The goal came after a series of missed chances in the first half.

On resumption, Gor Mahia maintained their offensive tempo and were the first to be awarded a corner but Ali Abondo failed to find the back of the net after out jumping his markers. Three minutes into the second half another of Abondo’s effort went past the Tusker goal.

But in the 54th minute, Michael Olunga should have put his side ahead after he headed well from an Ali Abondo free-kick. The ball hit a Tusker defender and went out for a fruitless corner as Gor Mahia unsuccessfully pleaded for a penalty. The under pressure brewers then rested Ronnie Osumba for Ronald Musana.

Gor Mahia on the other hand rested injured Godfrey Walusimbi for Innocent Wafula. The Ugandan international had been hacked down by Tusker defender Jockins Atudo, who was duly booked for the offense. Gor Mahia’s Khalid Aucho was also booked.

Martin Musalia was a busy man in the Tusker goal and at the hour mark reacted well and quickly to keep out Meddie Kagere’s diving header. It was the fourth time Gor Mahia were exposing the Tusker backline boosting of some of the most experienced players locally.

The Tusker goalkeeper could however, not do much when Meddie Kagere jumped to head home a 78th minute effort from Khalid Aucho. The goal brought the Moi Stadium in Kisumu to a thunderous applause as Gor Mahia ended the first leg with their unbeaten run intact. The result also meant K’Ogalo goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch kept a tenth clean sheet of the season.

Apart from a free-kick late in the match, the brewers were a major disappointment and made no effort to threaten Gor Mahia backline. It was yet another poor show by the brewers, who have to go back to the drawing board ahead of the second leg and reassess their performance.

Kagere determined to repay Kogalo with goals

courtesy of the KPL website

“You have to do the impossible to make it possible.” This is the philosophy by which Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere, the Kenyan Premier League’s current joint top scorer lives by.

The 28-year-old Rwandan netted two goals last Sunday, bringing his season tally to eight, as K’Ogalo crushed Nakuru All Stars 5-0. His second strike in that rout was an audacious display of trickery with the ball that will long remain etched in the memories of those who had the privilege to watch.

Kagere anticipated Nakuru All Stars’ Shayne Indimuli’s back pass, quickly shifted up the gears to overhaul the ball, then in one fluid, outrageous move, he double flicked the ball as he went through a 360 degree turn to leave the goalkeeper stranded on the spot. From there on he had a clear run on goal and even an under-eight player would not have missed from that situation. Beautiful was written all round that strike.

“That was one of the best goals I have scored in my career and I am still very excited,” he told kpl.co.ke his eyes lighting up mirth.

“You know in everything you do, you must always remember what your goals in life are and you have to work very hard to achieve them. The only reason I am in Kenya is because I came to play football, and specifically to score goals for Gor Mahia. That is why I aim to score as many goals as possible in every game,” he said.

Kagere speaks glowingly of the K’Ogalo fans, and says that they remind him so much of Europe where he had a six months stint with Albanian club FK Tirana.

“I love fans because they remind you of your job. They want to be made happy, to be entertained and more importantly, they need to be rewarded with a win so when I came to Gor and saw how passionate their fans are, I said to myself that I have to show them what I am capable of and I am glad they appreciate me so far.

“In Europe it was worse. The fans could come into the stadium in very large numbers even during training sessions and they would sing and cheer throughout so I am not intimidated by the K’Ogalo fans,” he said.

Speaking to him, one gets the impression of a well-mannered individual with great determination and big dreams, and he confirmed this by saying that his ultimate aim is to find his way back to Europe.

“Gor wanted me long ago; even before I went to Tunisia in 2012, but at that time I had received a US$150,000 (about KSh14 million) offer which I could not turn down. When they reached out to me again last year, I agreed to sign a one-year contract even though my agent wanted me to settle for six months because I felt like I owed them for their patience.”

And what does he think of the standards of football in the Kenyan league?

“The KPL is very competitive. It is more competitive than Rwanda, even than Uganda, but my aim is to return to Europe. In Europe you play very high level football and the memories ring in my mind every day. But at the end of the season I shall explore my options including a possible renewal of my contract with Gor depending on how things turn out in the course of the year,” he said.

Asked whether the imminent return of Ugandan top rated striker Dan Sserunkuma is causing him sleepless nights, Kagere replied: “I have not met him yet but I know that he is a good player and that he was the best when at Gor. I, however, cannot let that get into my head because I am also a national team player like he is, and I think I am capable of earning my starting role.

“Look, Ali Abondo and Michael Olunga are also very good players, but that has never made me doubt my capabilities. Even if there were 10 strikers in the squad, I would work hardest to ensure I remain in the starting lineup,” he said.

The Ugandan-born player thinks of himself as a “real Rwandan”, and he says that the fact that he has spent his whole life in Rwanda makes him identify more with the country even though his parents and siblings reside in Entebbe, Uganda.

“I have spent almost my entire life in in Rwanda. I mean, I speak fluent Kinyarwanda and French, but I have trouble getting the Baganda accent right. Oh, and I have also made 29 appearances for the Rwandan national team so I guess that makes me a real Rwandan,” he said with a smile that light up his face like an east African sunrise, bright and abrupt.

The widely travelled Kagere has played for eight clubs at senior level including Police FC, Rayon Sports, SC Kiyovu in his native Rwanda, Club Esperance of Tunisia, Albania’s FK Tirana and now Kenyan giants Gor.

He lives with his wife and two children in Nairobi and even though he does not mind Kenyan cuisine he confessed to kpl.co.ke that he imports Rwandan ugali every month to deal with his cravings for home food.

“Here in Kenya my favourite dish is chicken and rice, but sometimes I really miss food from Rwanda. I like the Kenyan ugali but it is not the same as the one we make in Rwanda so I usually send for cassava flour from Kigali so that my wife can make some real “ubugali”,” he said with another smile on his face.

Likeable chap by any standards but it is unlikely that opposing defenders will think so when they confront the proven goal poacher on the field of play because you feel there is more scoring still to come from him.