Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi has said that Gor Mahia would not be interested in rehiring coach Zdravko Logarusic. The charismatic coach Croatian coach was recently fired by Simba FC.
Loga as he is popularly known took over as Gor Mahia coach in 2012 and steered Gor Mahia from the relegation zone to the brink of winning the national league. This feat mad him a hero among Gor Mahia fans. He also won the praise of fans for always beating arch rivals AFC Leopards. But he quit in 2013 with Gor Mahia sitting atop the national league due to a disagreement about his contract.
Ever since he left, a section of Gor Mahia fans have been demanding his return. The demands reached a crescendo when current coach Bobby Williamson announced he was leaving to become Harambee stars coach.
However Omondi has indicated that they are not interested in Loga.
“We are not looking forward to re-employing Logarusic and are yet to receive his application so far. We are instead persuading Williamson to hold on till the end of the season as we search for a suitable replacement”, Omondi told futaa.com
“The club needs enough time to go into the lookout for a suitable replacement that is why we are negotiating with Williamson to still be with us for the remaining few matches in the season.”
All things considered, this seems the most logical way to approach this issue especially since the news of Williamson’s departure was rumoured to have thoroughly demoralized the players. In fact their lackadaisical display in Kigali can be partially attributed to the news.
However given that Gor Mahia officials have a penchant for contradicting each other, we can never what what the club will do next.
Logarusic at Simba
Loga’s record at the Dar es Salaam based side has been far from impressive. He took over from Frenchman Patrick Liewig when Simba were still in contention to win the league. But he led them to 4th place behind Yanga, Mbeya City and Azam. A fourth place finish for a well funded team that has won the league over twenty times is unacceptable.
During his stint at Simba, Loga coached in 21 matches, winning 8, losing 8 and drawing 5, also an unacceptable for a club used to dominating in Tanzania.
Loga is said to have been fired due to his penchant for insulting players and even officials. In fact several months ago, Ugandan defender Joseph Owino almost quit Simba complaining about Loga’s insults. He was finally fired after Simba lost to Zesco of Zambia 3-0 in a friendly match. Sources close to the club say that Loga was involved in a heated argument with players after the match blaming them of showing a dismal display during the match. Interestingly, his firing comes only a few days after Simba signed Raphael Kiongera, one of Loga’s favourite players. In fact the Zesco match was Kiongera’s debut.
There are other coaches whose name has been mentioned as possible replacements
Among the coaches who have been rumoured as possible replacements for Williamson should he leave are former coach Zedekiah Otieno Zico who now coaches SoNy. Early in 2014, it even appeared Zico would return to the club as Williamson’s assistant. But Zico likely will not leave his job at SoNy for a job that might last only 5 months.
After Logarusic unceremoniously left Gor Mahia last year, Stanley Okumbi’s name as a possible successor was on everyone‘s lips and it is believed his club Mathare United blocked the move. Okumbi is currently the youngest coach in the KPL and has a knack of rebuilding successful squads every season. This is what he has done at Mathare United where he has been for the last three seasons
But if Mathare blocked his move last year, they will certainly block it this time around.
The former AFC Leopards coach has always expressed a desire to come back into the KPL after his sudden exit last season. After leaving Leopards, he went to Rayon Sport of Rwanda where he left after being suspended for two years for misconduct.
He started well at AFC but soon ran afoul of officials and would soon leave in a huff. And with the financial instability at Gor Mahia now, this does not seem an optimal choice.
Having said all that, the biggest impediment to the club’s ability to hire a good coach is the financial instability occasioned by KRA. This is something the club officials do not seem to have done much to resolve. It is now 5 months later and we still do not know if any agreement has been reached with KRA. Meanwhile initiatives like 350100 and the membership recruitment drive have fallen by the wayside due to lack of followup.