Omondi: Defensive solidity is key

Gor Mahia’s Boniface Omondi is optimistic that a solid defence will carry Gor Mahia to the next round of the CAF Champions League

Additional reporting from the Star

Boniface Omondi is optimistic that Kenyan champions Gor Mahia will see of Burundi’s Aigle Noir and reach the first round of the CAF Champions League.

Speaking after the team’s training conducted by coach Steven Polack at Camp Toyoyo, Omondi — a two-time league winner with K’Ogalo since joining from Nzoia United two years ago — touted his sides defensive solidity as a key plank in their quest to oust their Burundian opponents.

“We have shown a different aspect to our game in terms of defensive organisation. Many know us as an attacking side but we have blended that by being strong in defence and if we can maintain that solidity, then with our strikers and the advantage of playing in front of our own fans, then victory will be ours,” he said.

Omondi has fallen down the pecking order in the attacking midfield role he desires following the arrivals of new players among them Kenyan international Clifton Miheso but he said he craved the challenge of fighting for his place.

“Competition in the team is healthy. It keeps everyone on their toes. I relish the challenge of trying to impress the new coach just like everyone else. I believe everyone should earn a place in the team through merit,” stated Omondi.

Unlike in the first leg in Bujumbura which ended goalless, Gor will have a full squad to choose from having been limited to 15 players only in Burundi. However, team manager Jolawi Obondo confirmed that neither Ivorian Gipsan Yikpe, Ghanaian Francis Afiriye nor Miheso will be available for Sunday’s clash.

“These players will only be available in the next round should we go past Aigle Noir,” revealed Obondo.

Meanwhile, in a bid to maximize on their matchday attendances and gain more financial muscle through gate collections in the wake of the exit of Sportpesa, Gor have partnered with technology company — Infinity Tickets (Africa Data Technologies Limited) — to introduce e-ticketing ahead of the first home match of 2018/2019 season next weekend.

The revolutionary electronic system will boost the clubs revenues by weeding out the sale of fake tickets, said the club treasurer, Sally Bolo. The system is also in line with the club’s policy of implementing hassle-free access to Gor Mahia’s match-day tickets.