Oluoch and Olunga key as Harambee Stars face Cape Verde

Olunga scored against Zambia

Harambee Stars face a tall order when they take on Cape Verde on Friday. Firstly they will be playing against a side that is ranked number 32 in the FIFA rankings which is fourth in Africa. It is a starke contrast to Kenya who are ranked number 125 in the FIFA rankings. They are coached by Rui Aguas, a vastly experienced coach who also was the top scorer in the European champions cup in 1988. The Cape Verde team is composed entirely of Europe based players.

harambee stars preparations are usually bad but this time they have been especially bad. Both FKF and the Ministry of sports declined to provide any support for the national team with each party pointing fingers at the other. At one point the team did not even have a field to train in. The lack of support lowered the morale of the players many of whom showed up late. The players have expressed dissapointment that despite pleading for proper preparations and friendlies, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
“As usual the preparations have not been that good. It’s just up to the players to motivate themselves because we know the problems we are going through. We will give our best. Preparations are not always perfect but we are trying hard to work with what we have. Let fans come in large numbers and support us,” said Wanyama.

Nevertheless former Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson who now handles Harambee Stars was upbeat.

“I am happy with our training though the players keep arriving every day making it difficult to adjust. Preparations must be elaborate especially considering our opponents have pedigree and they are highly ranked in Africa and the World however I have told my players to use the home advantage though it is a pressure cooker situation they must remember they beat Mauritius scoring five goals away.”

“We are still waiting to see if our players such as Mandela,Origi, Keli will arrive in time for the game but the delay kind of worries me as most of them are part of our plans for the game. We will also dearly miss the services of Ayub Timbe who has been ruled out with injury. As a coach I am optimistic of good results and it is an opportunity to give our best in the prevailing circumstances while hoping for the best,” Williamson told supersport.com.

Foreign based players that have arrived in camp include are skipper Victor Wanyama of Southampton, Johana Omollo of Royal Antwerp, Allan Wanga of Azam Christian Bwamy of Follo in Norway and the former Gor Mahia duo of David Owino now at Zesco, and Teddy Akumu now at Al Khartoum.

Among the players who are likely to feature are Gor Mahia goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch who is sure to start between the posts given the absence of Kenya one Arnold Origi. Oluoch had a shakey performance against Congo in Brazzaville but his performance between the posts has shown steady improvement.

Spearheading the Kenya attack will be Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga. His performances for the national team has been stellar. He was on target when Kenya played Zambia at Nyayo during which he was one of the few bright spots on the team.

Against Zambia, the national team was plagued by indiscipline before the match, culminating in the suspension of players like Danson Kago and Jesse Were, both of Tusker. At the time FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya vowed to met out lengthy suspensions. But coach Williamson has now recalled the duo.

The last time these two sides met was in 2003, Kenya won both home and away legs 1-0 and went on to qualify for the 2004 Africa Nations cup. On that occasion, Dennis Oliech scored the crucial goal at in the last match at Kasarani and was carried shoulder high by jubilant fans. This time things will likely be different.

Kickoff is on Friday November-13-2015 at 4pm. The venue is Nyayo national stadium.


Olunga left out of U23 qualifiers

Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga will not be in the traveling squad as the Kenya U23 team travel to Botswana for the opening round of the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.

The Kenya Under-23 team departs for Lobatse via Gaborone this evening ahead of tomorrow’s preliminary, first leg clash at the Lobatse Sports Complex. Team Kenya is coached by former Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson.

Olunga, who studies Geospatial Engineering at the Technical University of Kenya,has been excused from the match this weekend, due to end of semester exams.

As for Gor Mahia fans, they will likely not be dissapointed that Olunga will not travel to Botswana.Staying in Kenya will leave him more rested for Gor Mahia’s next match.

The last time the Kenya U23 side competed was against Egypt when Kenya lost 4-1 on aggregate. Two Gor Mahia players, Olunga and Timothy Otieno played in the return leg at Machakos.  Olunga proved a handful for the Egyptians. Kenya’s goal which came from a penalty was scored as a result of Olunga being brought down in the penalty box.

In Olunga’s absence, coach Williamson will depend on Enock Agwanda whose form of late has been below expectations especially for a player who 3 years ago was touted as the next Dennis Oliech.

Coach Williamson for his part has yet to impress as Harambee stars coach and will be hard pressed to conjure up a result.

“To be honest we never played that badly against Egypt. The lessons learnt from those games is that it is important to get something in the away matches. Our recent friendly fixtures in Seychelles will be key” Williamson told Daily Nation Sport.

Of late, Kenya’s record against teams from southern Africa has not been stellar. Last year it was Lesotho who eliminated Kenya from the AFCON 2014 qualifiers and in 2013, Botswana beat Kenya 2-1 in the COSAFA cup.


FKF want to borrow Gor Mahia coach again

It appears that once again FKF are interested in using the services of the incumbent Gor Mahia coach. The AFCON qualifiers due to start shortly. Kenya open their qualifcation campaign on June 17 against Congo-Brazzaville and Nyamweya wants coach Frank Nuttall to act as Bobby Williamson’s assistant.

“We are talking to Gor Mahia to lend us Nuttall when we start our campaign for Afcon 2017.” said Nyamweya to goal.com

In a bid to assuage Gor Mahia fans who may worry that FKF are grabbing Nuttall from Gor Mahia, Nyamweya has assured that he will not be hired on a full time basis

“We don’t want to engage him to a contract but need him to come on board and work closely with Bobby Williamson because our aim is to make sure that Kenya qualifies for finals to be held in Gabon. We will only require his services when Stars’ are in camp and nothing else. We always have a break for our local league when Stars’ is playing in international matches. This is the time we will need Nuttall’s services.” said Nyamweya.

Nuttall apparently already has a working relationship with Williamson given that it was Williamson who seconded Nuttall to Gor Mahia. And Williamson is likely impressed by the work that his successor has done at Kogalo.

And whereas Musa Otieno is a defensive specialist, Williamson probably needs Nuttall’s attacking mind.

“We will be borrowing for his services. Williamson will remain our coach and Musa Otieno the assistant and Nuttall will only come in to give a helping hand.

Aside from taking Bobby Williamson from Gor Mahia last season, FKF also engaged coach Zedekiah Otieno “Zico” when Harambee stars were attempting to qualify for the 2012 Africa nations cup.

It is commendable that FKF are taking the qualifications seriously. However Gor Mahia officials need to be careful to avoid any arrangements that will derail the club’s aspirations.



Rachier Hails Bobby Williamson

Williamson bidding the players fairwell in August

Club chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that former coach Bobby Williamson was most responsible for winning the 2014 premier league.

We give credit to Bobby since he played the greatest role in earning us this victory. Nuttal joined us after Bobby’s had done 3/4 of the work he is a great coach too, he said to futaa.com

His last match was against SoNy Sugar in early August before he took the Harambee stars job. Williamson joined Gor Mahia in mid 2013 taking over from Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic who refused to return to the club after going on holiday.

During Williamson’s tenure, Gor Mahia was always at or near the league summit. The one blemish on his record was his inability to win the Mashemeji derby.

“I feel disappointed I leave the club having not won any derby in four attempts but I’m happy I leave the club in good position to defend the title and everybody seems to love the way we play,” said Williamson on his last day in charge of the club.

Jaro Soja denies reports

Famous Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja who was offered a job by the president has furiously denied reports that he turned down the job.

“Contrary to the romours going round that I have turned down the job offered by the His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, I wish to clarify that I am and will always be available to serve him and Kenya at any capacity he requests me to. To all Gor Mahia fans, I remain one of you. I am a Kenyan first, then a Gor Mahia fan. I once again thank my President for his faith in me.”  said Jaro Soja posting in social media.

There was a report on K24 news suggesting that Jaro Soja had turned down the job and was instead requesting money to start a business.


New era starts as Gor Mahia take on KCB

Gor Mahia players celebrate Kizito’s goal against SoNy

Gor Mahia start the post Bobby Williamson era when they take on KCB on Thursday.

According to team captain Jerim Onyango, the playing unit has gotten over Williamson’s departure and is ready to move on.

“As a player you always have to be prepared for such things and be ready to work with anyone at any-time. Williamson had a great influence on this team and we will miss him but we have to move on.” he told goal.com.

Team manager Frank Ouna is the man charged with taking the club through this transition period as Gor Mahia search for a new coach to take them through the end of the season.

On paper, Ouna is certainly qualified. He is a  Master’s degree Holder (MIS) and BSC (IT) degree from Moi University is an experienced and well trained coach with  a UEFA B coaching License  adding up to his previous DFB Level  II course in Germany and CAF Level “C”

But despite all these qualifications he has scant coaching experience. At Gor Mahia he has been in charge for only one game. It was the KPL top 8 match against Tusker which Kogalo lost.

In the last match against SoNy Sugar, the club was bailed out by individual brilliance and in particular Geoffrey Kizito’s free-kick. On Thursday against KCB , it will likely come down to the playing unit again. Which is why the club’s fan base must turn out in large number to lift the team.

KCB will be no pushovers. They are on the recovery path, are determined to escape relegation and won their last match according to their coach and former Kenya international Rishad Shedu.

“The morale at camp is still very high and I am sure that in our remaining eight matches we shall rise to safety because the boys also want to remain in the league.

“We want to stay out of relegation zone. I am glad the team has begun to pick up at the right time and considering renewed confidence during training, I believe they will overcome the challenge.”

And striker Mungai Kiongera who scored in their last match will likely want to leave on a high note as he departs for Tanzania.

But the Gor Mahia playing unit is under no illusions about the difficulty of this match. They are also determined to stay focused in the remaining 10 matches.

“Our focus is to take each game as it comes. We are not focusing on how many matches we have remaining or the advantage we have. Instead, we want to work hard in each game and make sure that we pick maximum points,” continued captain  Jerim Onyango to goal.com

The fan base must show up and do their part to lift the players.

Starting Line-Up

Starting IX: 1 Jerim Onyango 5. Musa Mohammed 18 Harun Shakava, 15 David Owino, 2 Godfrey Walusimbi, 3 Geoffrey Kizito, 10. Daniel Onyango, 6 Collins Okoth, 25. George Odhiambo, 8 Timothy Otieno, 8 Dan Sserunkuma

Substitute: 16 David Juma . 27. Simone Pierre, 13. Charles Bruno, 17. Eric Ochieng’, 7. Simon Mburu, 30. Patrick Oboya, 14. Kennedy Opiyo


Acid test for Frank Ouna against KCB

Frank Ouna in the orange jersey

Gor Mahia have appointed Frank Ouna as interim coach. He will be in charge of the match against KCB. Chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that Ouna will be in charge while the club seeks a suitable replacement.

“Ouna is the designated assistant coach at Gor Mahia and he therefore, takes over as we look at possible successor,” Rachier told goal.com on Tuesday.

Ouna has very little coaching experience. He has been on the technical bench  as team manager. He also stood in for Bobby Williamson in the Top 8 match against Tusker FC in Kinoru Stadium on Saturday 24 May.

We as fans cannot expect miracles from Ouna. We can hope he identifies the appropriate line-up to tackle KCB based on KCB’s style of play and that he comes up with appropriate strategies and in-game adjustments. Much also depends on the playing unit. And this is why the 12th man aka the fans will be once again critical. Much of how Gor Mahia performs in the last few games will depend largely on the 12th man.

Identifying the next coach

According to Rachier, they have received applications and will meet

We will meet on Tuesday as an executive and have a look at all those who have applied for the job and then talk to them and discuss our terms. We expect to have someone in place in the next one week.” said Rachier to goal.com

Since Bobby Williamson indicated that he would help the club identify the next coach, it is critical that each of these candidates is interviewed by Bobby Williamson.



Gor Mahia to name coach on Tuesday

Eric Ochieng and Blackberry in action against Djibouti Telecom

Gor Mahia are set to name a coach to replace Bobby Williamson on Tuesday August 26. This according to a report by the Standard newspaper.

Coach Bobby Williamson has indicated that he has given his suggestion as to whom should take over as coach.

“I have talked to the chairman (Ambrose Rachier) and recommended someone for the job. It is someone who is a qualified coach and one who can lift up this club to greater heights,” he said to the Standard.

And in a separate report, Williamson heaped praise on his long time assistant and club legend Bobby Ogolla, thus hinting at whom his personal favourite would be.

“Ogolla has done a wonderful job and will be a good replacement,” he said.

From a continuity perspective, Ogolla would be good. But it remains to be seen whether his health can withstand the pressures of being Kogalo coach.

Club Chairman Ambrose Rachier is said to prefer Zedekiah Otieno. But Otieno is unlikely to leave SoNy Sugar mid season.

Former coach Zdvarko Logarusic would be a fan favourite but given his past history of agitating for higher pay and the financial status of the club, he is an unlikely choice.

With Gor Mahia having regained their position atop the Tusker premier league, it will be critical that a suitable replacement is found who can enable the club to maintain its position starting this Thursday against KCB who are determined to fend off relegation.

National Team

Meanwhile Williamson has officially taken over as Harambee stars coach and has named four Gor Mahia players in the squad to play Egypt. New sensation Timothy Otieno is likely to make his full debut. Other Kogalo players named are David Owino, Jerim Onyango and Anthony Akumu who is out on loan. Bernard Odhiambo, a younger brother to David Owini has been named.

It is interesting that when Harambee stars needed quality friendlies, there were no quality matches organized. Now that Stars are eliminated from competitive football for two years, then FKF has seen it fit to line up to quality friendlies against Egypt and Morocco


Bobby says emotional farewell as search continues

Coach Bobby Williamson bade an emotional farewell to the club on Sunday. It was a fitting goodbye as Gor Mahia won 1-0 thanks to a high quality strike from Ugandan international Geoffrey Kizito.

And clearly Bobby has been very popular among the players. In a moving gesture, the players hoisted him to a lap of honour at the end of the match to thunderous reception from the fans.

Bobby thanked the club management and the players.

“Gor has wonderful players and I hope they go ahead to win the league because it has a good bunch of players. I thank the chairman for having faith in me and giving me this opportunity to manage the club.

“I also express my sincere gratitude to players who made extra effort to go ahead and win the game today,” .

He also said why he was unable to manage both the club and the national team.

“I don’t think I could stay any longer at Gor because I don’t want to look impartial when selecting players for the national team, I would like to concentrate on national team and hopefully develop some talent and introduce academies but we have a lot of work to do,” he declared.

“I will miss the fans that were always fantastic and crazy and I’m happy they behaved today which is a good thing because the club needs a sponsor.

“It’s been tremendous though I experienced some highs and lows but I can’t complain because that’s the experience in football,” Williamson stated in homage to the fans who gave him the rousing ‘green carpet’ send-off.

Bobby also said he was proud of his record in the Mashemeji derby despite having not won in four attempts.

“My best match in Gor was two weeks ago against Leopards when we were 2-0 down and thought the game was over but it wasn’t because we should have won that match, Sserunkuma should have been given a penalty but the referee denied us because he wanted the match to end 2-2 to avoid trouble.

“I feel disappointed I leave the club having not won any derby in four attempts but I’m happy I leave the club in good position to defend the title and everybody seems to love the way we play,” .

Williamson’s statement about the club needing a sponsor is very apt. There are reports that the club did not wear the Joma kit because they did not settle the laundry bill when the Joma kits were taken for cleaning.

Search for a new coach

Meanwhile there is no word yet on whom the new coach will be. Former player Sammy Omollo led Tusker to a league title. So he proved that with good players he can win. He later took over at SoNy before being replaced by current coach “Zico” Otieno.

Among the names that have been mentioned is current team manager Frank Ouna. According to former Kenya international, Ezekiel Akwana, Ouna would make a good replacement.

“Now that Bobby has left, I would advise the Gor management to elevate Frank Ouna to be the replacement, he told futaa.com Ouna has worked under different coaches at Gor and understands how the club has been coached in the recent past said Akwana. ”

But Ouna has no coaching experience and this is not the time for Gor Mahia to be experimenting.

Others have backed current assistant coach Bobby Ogolla to take over. But Bobby legend has still not recuperated completely. The pressure that comes with being coach might cause him to relapse.

What Gor Mahia needs now is an experienced person with established credentials.


Gor Mahia take on SoNy Sugar

Fans will no doubt show up in large numbers hoping for something to cheer

Gor Mahia return to league action this Sunday as they take on SoNy Sugar of Awendo on Sunday at the City stadium.

All week long Gor Mahia players have been saying how much they learned from their CECAFA experience.

“We returned from Rwanda with vital lessons, and the whole team is focused on retaining the title,” Williamson added.

Fans will be hoping that they can put those lessons into action. Indeed fans will be looking for something to cheer after a period of bad news.

SoNy coach Zedekiah Otieno “Zico” has nnaounced that his team is determined to secure all three points despite missing key players Sylvester Wanyama and Victor Ademba.

“We have prepared very well. It is just unfortunate that we will be missing some players but we are well motivated especially after the KPL disciplinary committee listened to our appeal. I believe the boys will measure up,” Otieno, a former Gor coach, told Saturday the Nation.

Williamson to assist in search for new coach

As Gor Mahia embark on finding a coach to replace the departing Bobby Williamson, it has emerged that Williamson will be assisting the club in finding his replacement. According to futaa.com the team will be searching for a coach who will neither interrupt with his style of play nor conduct with the player unit and one that understands his philosophy well, possibly a man he has closely worked with previously.

Among the names mentioned before this former Harambee stars coach Jacob Ghost Mulee who was recently fired by FKF. Then there is former club coach and player Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”.



Now Sec Gen Omondi says Bobby is leaving

Gor Mahia secretary general William Omondi has now indicated that coach Bobby Williamson will be leaving Gor Mahia to focus entirely on Harambee stars.

“Bobby is with us for only Sunday’s league match against SoNy Sugar after which he will be taking up his new role as head coach of Harambee Stars,” Omondi told Gor Mahia website.

On clearing the air about reports that K’Ogalo had not received official approach from Football Kenya Federation, Omondi said the executive is now aware of the appointment and plans are underway to fill up the gap left by the Scot because they have received numerous applications.

“We are fully aware of his appointment and we, as a club, we are weighing out options whether to have an interim coach to take care of the team for the next remaining league matches or to hire a coach, who will fully take us through to next season. We have quite a number of applications and we will consider all of them and see how we can land on one coach to lead the team.”

Omondi indicated that the club appreciates everything Bobby has done and that they would seek his advice as neccesary.

“We as a club truly appreciate Williamson’s work since he arrived in Gor Mahia. He is a professional coach, who saw us through tough times and through his guidance, we won the title and we are at a very good position to clinch the title again this season. We wish him well and we will seek for his advice if necessary because he said he will be available for advice.”

Omondi said they are in the process of finding a new coach.

” We have quite a number of applications and we will consider all of them then see how we can land on one coach to lead the team. We are weighing out options whether to have an interim coach to take care of the team for the next remaining league matches or to hire a coach who will fully take us through to next season.,” he added.

This brings an end to speculation, denials and counter-denials regarding the status of coach Williamson

Rachier Rushes to City stadium to avert Go slow

Gor Mahia chairman was forced to rush to city stadium to pay players and avert a go slow.

Rachier arrived at training ground early in the morning and gave out some money to assistant coach Bob Ogolla to hand over to the players.

The players are reported to have gone on a go slow since Monday protesting at unpaid training and winning allowances.

But Rachier denied reports of a go slow insisting that all is well in camp. “It is true that we owe them some money and I have cleared a bit of it on Thursday morning. No player went on strike.

“All they did was express concern over the delay in paying what we owed them and this has been sorted out and they are all happy and looking forward to Sunday’s game against Sony Sugar,” Rachier told goal.com.

Reports emerged on Wednesday that Gor Mahia players’ were planning to boycott their league match against Sony Sugar unless their training allowances were paid in full. It turned out that they were demanding allowances due after the CECAFA campaign.