Gor Mahia gunning for 4 titles

Blackberry has played well in some games and could see action

Having wrapped up the KPL title , Gor Mahia will resume the GoTV shield campaign. They will take on Ushuru FC in the GoTV shield round of 32 match. The match kicks off on Sunday at 3pm at Nyayo stadium. Their first round match was against Langata Gremio which Gor Mahia won easily 3-0. Ushuru presents their first stern test. Coach Frank Nuttall is under no illusions.

“This is a one off game and we understand that everyone will be coming to beat us and so we have to be very focused to ensure we go to the next round.” he said to goal.com

But Nuttall knows that his side is capable of winning the GoTv shield as well as the KPL Top 8 to add to the two titles they have already won.

“Our form suggests that we can win a treble this season adding the KPL Top-8 and the GOtv shield to our stable.” continued Nuttall.

Overall team captain Jerim Onyango is also adamant that Gor Mahia can achieve its pre-season target of winning 5 titles.

“This has now become a routine achievement, but it still isn’t time to celebrate. Our target when the league began was to win five trophies, and so far we have won only two. The Cecafa trophy slipped through our fingers in the finals, but now we have to play for the Gotv Shield as well as the Top Eight. It is important that we win all these trophies so that we can rightly say that this has been our season; that we are the true and undisputed champions of the land,” said Jerry Jagoal to the KPL website.

Jerim has seen very little action this season and will likely see more action in tournaments like the Top 8

“This season I have not featured for the team much, but that doesn’t make me less of a champion. My being on the bench provides substantial motivation to the starting players because it reminds them that they have to give their best or relinquish their positions.”he continued.

Gor Mahia still have sufficient depth even with the departure of Dirkir Glay who has gone to South Africa. He was a victim of KPL’s decision to drastically reduce the number of players allowable. Skipper Musa Mohamed concurs that glay will be missed

“He is a good player and he gave the team more options in defence. With him in the team, we were motivated to work hard and fight for our positions because he gave us good competition” said Musa Mohamed to futaa.com





Coach Nuttall underscores the need for sponsors

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall has added his voice to those seeking sponsorship for Gor Mahia.  According to Nuttall, the working conditions are difficult due to the financial constraints faced by the club.

I have been trying to improve and professionalize our training environment since I came to the club but for various reasons, including financial limitations, I have been unable to do so.  I believe if we get sponsors to take care areas such as training ground, training equipment, gym and first aid kits supplies, it will be a big boost to us,” said Nuttall to the club’s site.

The coach appeared to re-iterate what was posited on this blog yesterday which is that the club need not find a big sponsor. They can work with smaller sponsors as well.

“If we can have various sponsors working with us, it will be great. It doesn’t have to be a big sponsor. Interested companies or individuals can come on board to work with us. The sponsors will gain by getting the much needed visibility through the team and its fan base. Their help will enable me to implement my plans. I want to move the club forward,”

It is good to see the coach showing this kind of passion and commitment to the club.

He is right. Gor Mahia need not find a big score sponsor like Tuzo or Molo milk. The club can seek out smaller sponsors and work with multiple sponsors. Certain clubs in Europe have multiple jersey sponsors and even short sponsors such as the one below.


With Nuttall signed, the work can begin

Scottish coach Frank Nuttall who steered Gor Mahia to its second succesive league title has signed a two year contract at Gor Mahia. This is good news for the club and its fans who wondered if Nuttall would be back especially after his lengthy holiday.

“We have handed Nuttall a two year deal after a marathon meeting today (Friday),” a source, who attended the meeting revealed. “We want him to handle the team without interference in terms of contract issues because we believe he has what it takes to propel the team to great heights.” said a club official to goal.com

In the past 3 years, Gor Mahia has not had a coach for more than a year. Logarusic left in mid 2013 and refused to return. While Bobby Williamson left amicably having signed a contract to coach the national team. Hopefully the two year period will give Gor Mahia some continuity

“We also wanted continuity and felt that a one year contract will not give him (Nuttall) enough time to coach the side. We are impressed by what he did last season, helping us to win title after only nine matches and we think he is the right man for the job.” continued the club’s official.

Nuttall has his work cut out. As it is, he hardly knows the players who featured for the team last season. Now he has to figure out how to build a cohesive unit with 14 new players. It will be difficult. But Nuttall can do it considering how quickly he adapted to the team last season. In fact when Nuttall took charge, the team hardly skipped a beat.

Nuttall will also be hard pressed to come up with new tactics now that other KPL coaches have studied his tactics.

His primary task will be to retain the league title which is the most important tournament as far as fans are concerned. But fans also want to see a better perfomance in other tournaments. Whereas Gor Mahia won the league in 2014, they fared badly in every other tournament from the Charity cup to the Top 8, the GoTV shield, CECAFA cup and the CAF champions league.

Of these the CAF champions league is the second most important. In this regard, hopefully Nuttall will soon get his hands on videos of Madagascan side CNAPs in order to devise a strategy against them. He must also insist on high quality friendlies to prepare for that match, build cohesion and test his strategies.


KPL coaches conspired to deny Sserunkuma

Gor Mahia striker Dan Sserunkuma had a phenomenal season in which he finished atop the Tusker premier league scorers chart with 16 goals. He was consistent throughout the season and when he was not scoring goals, he was setting up his strike partners with scoring chances. It stands to reason that he would be considered among the candidates for the player of the year , a title he won in 2012.

Sserunkuma at the awards ceremony of 2012

When the list of nominees came out however, Sserunkuma was not even listed among the candidates. A report on goal.com suggests that some coaches conspired to lock out the Ugandan talisman apparently because of what they called “the controversial nature of his goals”

“He (Sserunkuma) may have emerged top scorer but we also looked at how some of the goals were scored. Out of 16 goals, he scored three penalties and in our opinion some were not genuine. Furthermore, we felt that some of the goals he scored were from off-side position. If referees did not see it, we did and took note.” said a coach who sought to remain anonymous.

These kind of wild claims are reminiscent of Chemelil coach Mike Mururi who claimed that Gor Mahia wins because they get help from referees. At this rate it would have not come as a shocker if they gave the golden boot award to someone else.

Sserunkuma and his team-mate Goeffrey Kizito did not attend the ceremony as they were away with the Ugandan national team which was attempting to qualify for the Africa cup of nations. Unfortunately there was further disappointment as the Cranes once again fell short at the last hurdle.

Gor Mahia must find accommodation for Frank Nuttall

Frank Nuttall is away in Scotland for a 6 week holiday. The Scottish coach has been living in a hotel since his arrival in Kenya. The house he is supposed to occupy is still being occupied by former coach Bobby Williamson while Nuttall’s hotel bill is paid by the FKF.Williamson for his part cannot move because the house he is supposed to occupy is still occupied by former coach Adel Amrouche. Its is a mess at FKF.

However reports suggest that Nuttall is tired of hotel life and says  he will not live in a hotel when he returns.

“Nuttall has made it clear that he does not want to stay in a hotel when he comes back. It is a tricky situation for us because we cannot evict Williamson.” said a Gor Mahia official.



Nutall takes his first test against Simba

Gor Mahia travel to Dar es Salaam to play against Tanzanian giants, Simba sports club. On Thursday, Gor Mahia did play a friendly against Nakumatt that ended 1-1 with Timothy Otieno scoring Gor Mahia’s goal in the 25th minute before Nakumatt equalized in the 85th minute.

However Nutall had not held any training sessions prior to the Nakumatt match. But it did give him an opportunity to watch his charges in action. Simba will be his first opportunity to test his strategies. Fans will hope that he will inject new ideas that will see Gor Mahia play more cohesive football, something that has been lacking of late.

According to club Secretary General Chris Omondi, Tanzanian giants Simba S.C made a formal request for a friendly earlier on but that did not materialize given tight Kenyan league schedule. The match serves as good preparation as Gor Mahia prepare to take on Tusker in a crucial league encounter.

Gor Mahia skipper Jerim Onyango was happy at the chance to play Simba

“This weekend we do not have a league match so I think it will be good preparation for the game against Tusker when league action resumes. We want to give our all in the game come back with a win, he said during  Francis Nuttal’s press conference.

Simba finished an unaccustomed 4th in the Tanzanian league and thus fired coach Zdravko Logarusic replacing him with Zambian Patrick Phiri. They have also recently released former Gor Mahia defender Donald Mosoti who was initially a defensive mainstay there. But they will be buoyed by the return of their former striker Emmanuel Okwi who has rejoined after leaving arch rivals Yanga. Okwi has near legendary status among Simba fans. He is a dangerous striker and the Gor Mahia defence with Shakava, Calabar , Walusimbi et al will need to watch him.

September 2010 Friendly

Masika takes on the Simba striker

The last time Gor Mahia played Simba in a friendly was in September of 2010. The only surviving players from that match is Collins Okoth “Gattuso”, Musa Mohamed and Jerim Onyango. On that occassion, a very young Gor Mahia side comprehensively outplayed the Tanzanian giants beating them 3-1. It would have been higher if not for missed chances.

That day Gor Mahia scored first through Dan Makori in the 13th minute after being put through by Collins Okoth. Wycliff Opondo scored the second, tapping into an empty net. And before Simba could figure out what was hitting them Francis Ochola made it 3-0 from a brilliant pass by Baldwin Ngwa.

On that day, the Gor Mahia line-up was as follows

Ronnie Kagunzi, Solomon Nasio, Chris Wekesa, Eric Masika, Musa Mohamed, Anthony Akumu, Wycliffe Opondo (John Kiplangat 59?), Collins Okoth (Robert Onyango 85?), Baldwin Ngawa (Duncan Owiti 85?) Francis Ochola, Duncan Makori (Tonny Onyango 77?).
Reserves not used
Jerim Onyango, Francis Akang’o and Andrew Murunga
Charles Omondi was the acting coach.

Frank Nutall ready to retain title

Rachier Introduces Nutall at his presser

The new Gor Mahia coach, Briton Frank Nutall has told the media and fans that he is not only ready for the pressure that comes with being Gor Mahia coach but that said pressure will fuel him.

“This is a new project but I am ready for the pressure. In my work, pressure is normal and I enjoy it as it pushes me to perform,” he said to goal.com

“I promise that I will do my best. Pressure is not a problem to me, I enjoy it. I am very technical and give emphasis to detail. I know about the size of the club and this is an opportunity to help the club realise success,” he added.

Nutall went on to explain what convinced him to come to Gor Mahia.

“We had in depth and interactive engagement with the club chairman (Ambrose Rachier). He was persuasive and he convinced me to be here. It’s a new project I am taking, a new challenge for me and I am looking towards positive that at the end of the season we will be having success,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the playing unit, Jerim Onyango promised that the players would give full cooperation to Nutall.

“As a captain, we are going to give him the necessary support and cooperation. It is a positive thing that he has been brought on board and our priority is to work hard and help him realize success,” said the custodian popularly known as “Jagoal”.

Size of Contract

Nutall who most recently was at Chinese side Quingdao Hiniu been handed a Sh1.8 million worth of contract for the three months averaging a monthly wage of Sh600,000.
This is Sh50,000 more than what former coach Bobby Williamson was earning at the club. The six-figure salary puts Nuttall at the top of the pecking order, dwarfing what his AFC Leopards counterpart Pietier De Jongh earns – Sh350,000 per month. Other high-earning coaches in the KPL are Francis Kimanzi (Sh350,000) and Sam Timbe (Sh400,000).

Experience and Qualifications.

Nutall has an impressive holds a UEFA Pro coaching licence, the highest qualification in Europe. He has been working as a Fifa coaching instructor for the last two years. He has also worked at various clubs among them Newcastle, Middlesbrough, England U-20, U-17 and U-18 national teams.

On paper he appears qualified. Now its a question of whether he can translate his paper qualifications into results. And he has never worked in Africa so its questionable as to whether he can adapt to the Kenyan terrain.


Who is Frank Nutall ?

Nutall with the Chinese side

There is scant information about prospective new coach Frank Nutall who is said to be taking over as Gor Mahia coach as reported by various media outlets. The 46 year old Nutall comes recomended by the immediate former Gor Mahia coach Bobby Williamson.

“We asked him (Bobby Williamson) to recommend a good coach. An understanding person considering our financial situation. We did not want a Logarusic (Zdravko) type that would give us ultimatums,” the source revealed to the Daily Nation.

Also according to the Nation, Nutall is set to join the Kenyan champions on a ‘trial basis’ until the end of the current league season, and then, depending on performances, either be awarded a longer contract or done away with.

It appears Nutall is currently employed as a fitness coach at Chinese side Qingdao Hainiu. Some of his past positions include being an FIFA instructor. Indeed his linekdin page lists him as a UEFA PRO Licence Coach, FIFA & AFC Instructor, Fitness Coach, Football Consultant available.

There is no evidence that he has held a head coaching position before. He has mostly been a fitness coach. In 2008 he worked alongside coach Gareth Southgate for premiership side, Middlesborough. Below is his coaching history.

Given his vast fitness experience, one can expect the fitness levels of Gor Mahia players to improve significantly and they will be less injury prone . What is not yet clear is his tactical acumen.

His lack of experience will be mitigated by the fact that he has worked with some top teams and presumably with some top class coaches. And Bobby Williamson must have seen some potential in the Scott. It also helps that because of his short contract, he will be highly motivated to prove doubters wrong.

Iddi out, Ottamax in

Former Gor Mahia and Harambee stars goalkeeper Mathew Ottamax Owino is now the new goalkeeper trainer at Gor Mahia. He replaces long time goalie-coach Iddi Salim. This is the second time Salim has been removed. In 2013 he was accused of conspring to sell Rama Salim to a Tanzanian side and was briefly sidelines. Salim expressed no regrets at being replaced.

We held a discussion with the club management and it was decided that I should leave on Monday 1 September. I am content with the move and I am wishing Ottamax all the best, he told futaa.com

Ottamax expressed his happiness on his social media pages. “The prodigal son is back home at The Mighty Kogalo… Am technically GREEN!

Tom Ogweno, Jolawi Obondo back in

In what is perhaps the most obvious evidence that Logarusic is not coming back, Tom Ogweno has been hired as the physical trainer at Gor Mahia. Remember it was Logarusic who instigated the firing of Ogweno at the end of the 2012 season. At the time Ogweno was team-manager and when Gor Mahia lost the league title in their last match of the season, Logarusic accused Ogweno of among other things, mismanaging the team’s meal times.

Jolawi Obondo has been Gor Mahia team manager before. But he was sent packing along with Anaba Awono following the club’s disastrous start to the 2012 season. At the time he was accused of inciting players and benefiting financially from their sale. Obondo vehemently denied the accusations.

Frank Ouna has been appointed as assistant coach where he will work alongside Bob Ogolla who has been retained.