James Sianga: Building from the Youth

Sianga is one of the most renown and successful coaches in East Africa, having had very successful stints in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

He took over at Gor Mahia in 2008 and went about recruiting young players from lower division teams. Many were recent secondary school leavers and some were still in secondary school. The players he groomed became the bedrock of the club for several years including players like George Odhiambo “Blackberry”, Jerim Onyango, Solomon Nasio, Anthony Akumu, Chris Wekesa, Eric Masika, Ibrahim Kitawi. he even resurrected the career of Peter Opiyo when it seemed the latter had been sidelined by Thika United. Most of the players he recruited played key roles in the Gor Mahia teams that came close to winning the league in 2010 and 2012 before winning in 2013. “I always said when the players mature they will win it (league),” said Siang’a.

In 2008, he steered the club to win the Presidents cup with a 2-0 win over Posta Rangers. In the league Gor Mahia finished 9th. But some fans were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. The following year, Gor Mahia lost 0-6 aggregate to APR of Rwanda. Sianga told fans that the players were too young and that they should forget about continental football and focus on building for the future.

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