Polack: We were dysfunctional before the game

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack has blamed the shambolic build up to the match against Mathare for Gor Mahia’s loss. In an interview with goal.com, he stated that there were no training sessions before the match.

“How can you have a last training session and players don’t show up? Yesterday [Tuesday] was very important for us to do the tactics ahead of the match but the players did not show up. I had at least six players who did not start from the last game and the reason we needed to train together for the match.

“Like I said, under the circumstances if we got a draw [against Mathare United], I would be really very happy because of the circumstances but it is not the case because we lost the game and players need to take a look at themselves.

“No player turned out for training yesterday [Tuesday], they just came to for the match, and I am that kind of a coach who doesn’t show people if I am annoyed because I always like to motivate people and the players and something needs to be done urgently if we are to win our next matches.”

On losing the match against the Slum Boys, Polack said: “That is the way it is sometimes in football you cannot win every game, you win some and lose some.

Oliech: Gor Mahia will finish third

Prior to the match against Mathare United, former Gor Mahia striker Dennis Oliech stated that his former club would finish no better than third position.

Additional reporting from Nairobi News.

Former Gor Mahia striker Dennis Oliech believes the current squad is not experienced enough to lift the Kenya Premier League (KPL) title this season.

Oliech, who parted ways with Gor Mahia bitterly due to his absence from training and salary arrears three months ago, now says the club’s failure to qualify for the group stage of Caf Confederation Cup preliminaries is enough evidence that their hard time in the domestic league is beckoning.

“Gor Mahia has started the league in fine form but they have a bad away record hence cannot win KPL this season. The best they can finish is position 3 or 4. They sold many experienced players and the current want needs time to gel,” Oliech said.

Former skipper Harun Shakava, Jacques Tuyisenge, Francis Kahata and Francis Mustafa all left K’Ogalo last season while key players in the frame of Philemon Otieno and Shafiq Batambuze are currently out injured.

Veteran goalkeeper Boniface Omondi has also been relegated to the bench after the signing of Tanzanian David Mapigano.

UNPAID DUES

Oliech further said that he has decided to go slow on his intentions to sue Gor Mahia, saying he is waiting for the club to get a new sponsor then he will demand his dues.

“Court cases on football takes even four years to end but I’m not done with Gor Mahia yet. I sympathize with their financial situation but I will be on them when they have a new sponsor so that I can get my money,” he said.

At the same time, the former Harambee Stars skipper has revealed that he will be available in the January transfer window when he will seek to join either Bandari or Wazito FC.

Polack: We need better players and experience

Coach Steven Polack has indicated that the inability to win at home cost them against Motema Pembe. He also thinks Kogalo needs to add quality players.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has conceded qualifying for Caf Confederation Cup group stage was a tall order after failing to beat DC Motema Pembe in Nairobi.

K’Ogalo, who were bundled out after losing 3-2 on aggregate, settled for a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Kasarani before falling 2-1 in the return leg in Kinshasa on Sunday.

Polack revealed that his players were disappointed after failing to qualify for the group stage of second tier continental club competition for the third season in a row.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win the game at home since that was the best way to eliminate Motema Pembe. The players are also disappointed they failed to convert a number of chances they created in the away leg which could have won us the match,” Polack told Nation Sport on Monday.

Despite scoring first in Kinshasa, Gor failed to hold on to their lead and Polack insists that the current squad is inexperienced and can’t effectively at such a stage.

“I’m not castigating the current players but Gor Mahia needs to sign top class players who can do well in continental matches. I have only stayed here for a few months and can’t name the players the club is supposed to buy but in future I will know who to sign,” he added.

Coach Polack is back in town

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack has returned from his brief holiday in Finland much to the relief of the Kogalo fan base.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia tactician Steven Polack is back in the country after a short holiday in Finland during the international break.

Polack, who left the country last Monday with his family, jetted back on Sunday night allaying fears of his resignation.

A section of K’Ogalo fans had expressed concern over Polack’s departure with his predecessor Hassan Oktay having pulled a similar move before resigning from his job.

“I can confirm the coach is back to continue with his duties after one week break with his family. He jetted back on Sunday 10pm and he will hit the ground running ahead of our upcoming matches,” Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda told Nation Sport.

While Polack was away, assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo led the team in a friendly match against Alliance FC from Tanzania which ended in 2-2 draw last Thursday.

Polack will quickly regroup his charges for a league match against Kariobangi Sharks this weekend before they host DC Motema Pembe in the first leg of Caf Confederations Cup play-off on October 27.

Coach Polack travels home

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack announced after Sunday’s match against Zoo Kericho that he would traveling home.

“I have a flight to catch at the airport,” Polack told Goal after the team beat Zoo Kericho 1-0 at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

His trip back home sent alarm bells ringing as many Gor Mahia coaches have failed to return from overseas trips be it Logarusic or Dylan Kerr or Hassan Oktay.

But Polack says he is visiting his native home to see relatives.

“I want to visit my native home and see my family members. It has been long since I came here [in Kenya] and I know I am leaving the team in safe hands.” he said according to goal.com

His native home is the UK as opposed to Finland where he became a citizen.

Polack is unimpressed thus far and noted that the team must work on a number of issues.

“We have a number of things we need to work on during the international break because I want the team to come back even stronger. I was not very impressed with how we played against [Zoo Kericho] because it is not how we are supposed to play. We switched off completely and gave them room to take on us. We will rectify the mistakes and be ready for our next league assignment.” he concluded.

Some fans

Polack: It is not yet over

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack says his side is not giving up on beating USM Alger. Kogalo would require a 3-0 win against the well organized Algerian side

“It’s not yet over. It can be done, it has been done before in football,” Polack told Nation Sport

Polack noted that Kogalo are in rebuilding mode and lacked the experience needed at this level.

“We lost to USM Alger not because we were a poor team but due to little mistakes and loss of concentration. We had 16 players but only one or two have the experience of playing in continental and competitive matches. I don’t want to blame any player or management but I take responsibility for the defeat,” noted Polack.

It will require attacking football against a well organized Algerian side who are likely to sit back and absorb the pressure while waiting for an opportunity to counterattack.

“We have put the defeat behind us. Gor Mahia will no longer play defensive football but we will be attacking because we need to score goals. We have nothing to lose since we still harbour hopes of eliminating USM Alger. It is not time for blame games but fixing one or two areas,” continued Polack.

Gor Mahia unveils new coach and 17 new signings

New Kogalo coach Steven Polack was officially unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday.

The enthusiastic Polack promised results.

“I always strive to be number one. And this is a new challenge, a big one. We will have to get it right and the first impression is we will.” he said according to the Nation.

New signings List

Caleb Omondi, Alphonce Ombija, Lloyd Khavuchi, Godfrey Ombijo, Richdonald Bolo, Samuel Osok, (promoted from the club’s youth team), Abdalla Shira and Tobias Otieno (from Sony Sugar), Elvis Ronack (Nzoia Sugar), Maurice Ojwang (Western Stima), Robert Mapigano (Singida United, Tanzania), Dickson Ambundo (Alliance, Tanzania), Curtis Wekesa, Dennis Oalo (Nairobi Stima), Francis Afiriye (Ivory Coast), Gieslin Gikpe (Ghana)

Tobias Otieno
Kennedy Otieno “Agogo”

Mieno and Blackberry join Tusker

Long time Gor Mahia attacker George Odhiambo “Blackberry” who has been training with Tusker has officially joined the side alongside former Gor Mahia midfielder Humphrey Mieno who left St George of Ethiopia after an unhappy sojourn there where he spent most of the time on the bench.

Steve Polack arrives

British coach Steve Polack who is widely expected to become the new head coach of Gor Mahia FC arrived in the country on Wednesday at 2:42 PM.

He was most recently a coach in Ghana. In 2018, he was coach at Asante Kotoko, the storied Ghanaian side. He took over after former Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic departed. Kotoko were fourth in the league when the league was abandoned.

In 2017 he was coach at Berekum Chelsea when they finished 8th in the league. In 2011 again he was coach at Berekum Chelsea when they won the Ghanaian league. In 2009 he was coach at King Faisal when they finished 4th in the Ghanaian league.

Polack also holds Finland citizenship and coached there for many years. In 2007 he coached second tier side PK Keski Uusimmaa. In 2006 he was coach at FC Raahe when they finished fourth in the Finnish top tier (Vekkausliga). In 2005 he coached AC Oulu when they finished tenth in the Finnish top tier. Prior to that he coached a number of teams in the Ginnish lower tiers. He has also had numerous stints as an assistant coach in Finland.

Therefore his coaching experience is vast and he is used to the vagaries of coaching an African team such as the lack of equipment, insufficient training facilities, player go slows and strikes as well as incompetence and interference from officials.

Prior to coaching, Polack played most of his career in Finland. He played for RoPS of Rovaniemi in the Finnish top tier between 1984 and 1994.

He then played for Inter Turku also in the Finnish top tier for 3 years before becoming their head coach.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Should he, as widely expected, be named Gor Mahia coach on Thursday, Steve Polack’s immediate role is to mastermind a win for the Kenyan champions against their Burundian counterparts Aigle Noir Makamba FC in the preliminaries of the 2019/2020 Caf Champions League.

The Englishman arrived in Nairobi at 2:42pm Wednesday to replace Hassan Oktay, who delivered his resignation letter to K’Ogalo chairman Ambrose Rachier on Tuesday evening, citing ‘personal’ problems in his native Europe.

Polack will sign a two-year contract on Thursday before departing with the team to Bujumbura Friday morning in time for Sunday’s Champions League first leg clash.

This game is set for the 10,000 seater Intwari stadium, formerly known as the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium, in the country’s capital.

Gor assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo has been preparing the first team in Oktay’s absence, but Nation Sport understands club chairman Rachier had to move in fast and bring in Polack as the former Sony Sugar coach doesn’t have the requisite qualifications to take charge of a continental title.

“It is important to have someone who has African football management experience,” Gor Chief Executive Lordvick Aduda explained.