Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay said in a press conference that Gor Mahia is still in the stone age as far as technology. He says other teams in Africa such as Zamalek have technology to track key statistics like how much distance is covered by each player, how many touches they have, how many passes they complete etc, how many tackles they make. All these are crucial in assessing a player’s performance.
Furthermore, Oktay says that Petro Atletico, whom Gor Mahia recently eliminated, has a training ground with several pitches, unlike Gor Mahia whose training ground (camp Toyoyo), is limited to only one field. All this puts himself and the team at a severe disadvantage. Which is why Gor Mahia’s performance in reaching the quarter-finals of the CAF cup ought to be hailed
Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay said in a post match interview that it is too early to celebrate anything. Though Gor Mahia have won at home, they must pick a few points away from home in order to progress to the next stage.
On Dennis Oliech
Coach Oktay says the club could have used the services of Dennis Oliech who was missing in action after a disagreement with club officials over his signing bonus.
“I missed Dennis (Oliech) very much. He is a professional player and his
presence could have been an added advantage. I love the player and I
missed him. I will call him tomorrow (Monday) because I want the impasse
solved as quickly as possible,” Oktay told Goal
Mike Okinyi: Gor Mahia is the first team from Africa to play at Liverpool. Nizigiyimana: The team is very happy and thanks the sponsor for this glorious opportunity Shakava: As a team we have trained well for this opportunity. A chance to showcase our talent. The weather is not favourable. We will not put pressure on ourselves. We will just relax and play. We promise the fans that we will enjoy the game and play well.
As Gor Mahia prepare to take on Young Africans of Tanzania in the 2018 CAF Confederations cup, its worth taking a trip down memory lane to witness and recall Gor Mahia’s first ever sojourn into continental football. Their first ever continental opponents was a club known as Burri Khartoum of Sudan.
One player who is easily recognizable is James Sianga who is second in line as the team walks into the field. The players are greeted by The Minister for Cooperatives and Social services, Ronald Ngala. The stadium is packed to the rafters. Many aspects of City stadium have not changed since then. Most notably the residential homes behind the stadium that provide an excellent view into the stadium. And the terraces at Russia have not changed.
Gor Mahia earned the right to play in the 1969 Africa champions cup by virtue of having won the Kenyan league in 1968, the year of formation of the club. Gor Mahia had been formed in 1968, folding Luo Union FC and Luo Sports club and also recruiting numerous players from Kisumu Hotstars.
The local football scene was shambolic in 1969. Minister Ronald Ngala, disbanded the Kenya Football Association and also suspended the national league. Thus Gor Mahia were in danger of lacking match fitness when they played Burri. To mitigate this, they embarked on a countrywide tour to play friendly matches.
But Gor Mahia was also undergoing a civil war with certain members of the club executive committee fighting to take over the club and rename it Luo Union FC.
1969 Continental matches.
The opening round of the 1969 Champions cup were played in September. Gor Mahia won the first leg 4-2 in Khartoum. However in the return leg, Gor Mahia played rather poorly, losing 0-1 at City Stadium in front of a large partisan crowd. It marked the first of many instances where Gor Mahia parlayed an excellent away record.
Gor Mahia thus qualified for the next round where they faced off with Ismaily of Egypt. They drew 1-1 at home before losing 1-3 in Cairo. Ismaily went on to win the Africa champions cup in 1969.
Among the players who featured for Gor Mahia in this campaign were James Sianga, John Otieno “Hatari”, Josphat Okello “Smart”, William Ouma “Chege”, Arthur Omondi, Paul Ndula, Samson Odore, Joseph “Mwalimu” Okeyo, Walter Molo, Steve “McQueen” Yongo, Daniel Nicodemus Arudhi, John Wambudo and Chris Obure, the former senator of Kisii county. They were coached by Paul Odhiambo, the first ever coach at the club.
Gor Mahia’s first continental campaign was creditable considering what the club had to overcome which included the lack of a domestic league, infighting within the club an infighting at national level which led to the disbandment of both the KFA and the league.
It is also said that players were significantly affected by the death of Tom Mboya who had been buried in an emotional ceremony only weeks earlier.
Kogalo legend, All Thigo, arguably the greatest player ever to play for this club, explained that the name Sirkal came about when President Moi decreed that all tribal clubs must change their names to non-tribal names. The only team given an exception by Moi was Gor Mahia. Hence the name “Sirkal”