Gor Mahia warming up for Ulinzi

Gor Mahia will take on Ulinzi stars on Saturday in what promises to be a difficult encounter. Ulinzi are in good form and are third in the table.

On Monday Gor Mahia warmed up for the encounter by beating Nairobi Stima 3-0. The match was an opportunity to give players who did not play over the weekend an opportunity to stay sharp and play their way into the starting line-up.

“They played very well against Nairobi Stima, it was good to give them game time because they did not feature over the weekend. Our policy is for each and every player to have some game time each week and so the friendly match was important for those who did not play over the weekend.” said Frank Ouna to futaa.com

Ouna (middle) pictured upon arrival in Gabon in 2014

Having a strong bench is good for the club because as the league proceeds, players will start to miss matches due to injuries.

“As a Technical bench we were impressed with their performance, they give us much options in the league which is important for us as the league progresses” continued Ouna

Gor Mahia won 3-0 with goals from George Odhiambo, Timothy Otieno and Bernard Odhiambo.

But Frank Ouna knows that Ulinzi will be a difficult proposition and the team is preparing accordingly.

““It will be a massive match for us in our bid to retain the league title, but it will also pose a threat on our unbeaten run. They are unbeaten in five matches meaning they already have the momentum. But it is a great side which will give us problem” said Ouna to goal.com

And coach Frank Matano is always heavily motivated to play against Gor Mahia, something Ouna is well aware of.

““Matano [Robert] has a well-balanced squad with good offensive and defensive players. We will just aim to be disciplined and be very cautious. Our main objective will be to frustrate them, keep possession and try and penetrate their rear guard,”

KPL Player of the Month to receive cash awards

KPL players will now be doubly motivated to play well.  Sports Journalists Association of Kenya and betting company SportsPesa on Tuesday launched a monthly KPL player motivation programme that will see performers earn cash prize of 50,000 shillings, a 42 inch Television and a special trophy.
The partnership, which will be renewed annually and is aimed encouraging competition and hard work amongst players in the top tier Kenyan league.

“We have been in the local market for one and a half years and it is now time to engage in some Corporate Social Responsibility ventures in football and boxing. We are going to put more money next year and we look forward to a good partnership,” said Kester Shimonyo to the Standard. Shimonyo is the chief marketing officer of Sportpesa.

According to SJAK secretary General Mike Okinyi, a special panel of judges will be picked from football writers who will also rely on statistics from the governing body KPL to make meritocratic judgments.

Judging who is the best player in the league will require a keen eye among journalists. The lazy journalists ones or the ones who are not knowledgeable enough will only go by who is scoring. But as Chairman Ambrose Rachier said during the occasion, there is more to being a good player than pure statistics.

“This is a good initiative that will impact positively in the field. It is not about the scores but the performance, work rate and the contribution of the players in the league. It will go a long way in improving the standards of football in the country,” said Rachier.


Nuttall denies rift, ready to confront Ulinzi

Gor Mahia coach Grank Nuttall has denied that there is a rift in the technical bench. There have been reports that Nuttall had fallen out with fitness trainer, Tom Ogweno. Nuttall has however dimissed the allegations.

“The reports going round in media are not true I did not expel nor suspend the fitness trainer on Sunday as reported. I’m happy with the staff and on what we are doing behind the scenes with regard of the technical bench.

“I’m happy with the decisions that are being made in the club and we have unity since everyone has his own role,” said Nuttall to capital FM.

Other reports suggest that new fitness trainer Tom Ogweno and new team manager Jolawi Obondo were brought by Vice Chair John Pesa and Sec Gen Chris Omondi in order to settle scores with Frank Ouna.

However Sec Gen Omondi has dismissed such allegations saying he does not have the power to bring new officials as he sees fit.

Apparently Frank Ouna was attacked by unruly youth sent by one of the new officials.

However team captain Jerim Onyango has stated that the team and the technical bench are united and ready to play their next match.

Captain and goalkeeper Jerim Onyango echoed his coach’s sentiments and urged the Green Army to be calm since there are is no trouble in the club.

“I don’t think if there is any problem because there is good collaboration within the technical bench. The coach has assigned everyone his role and everyone is happy. I’m calling upon our fans to be calm since everything is okay,” Jerim said to capital FM.

Reports published by a local daily alleged that assistant coach Frank Ouna misled Nuttall on team selection following their 1-1 draw against Tusker, but the Bobby Williamson successor says the match was tough and he expects every game in KPL to be difficult.

Ulinzi will be a tough game. I have watched them play last week against KCB and we have gone through the DVD’s of their previous games to get more familiar with them.

“Players are ready and willing to go and like every coach I want to win the remaining matches and hopefully retain the title. Ulinzi is a strong team and we are not going to relax because we beat them in the first leg, a lot has changed in that period including the squad,” Nuttall said.

It will be remembered that Ogweno was fired when he fell out with Zdravko Logarusic at the end of the 2012 season while Obondo was accused of infighting and fired along with coach Anaba Awono, Julius Owino and others.


Godfrey Walusimbi had a stellar game when he was given free reign without full defensive responsibilities. He will provide further attacking options for coach Nuttall especially now that Gor Mahia has lost quite a few of its playmakers.

Timothy Otieno, while promising needs to work more on his poise,, composure and accuracy. He is one striker who needs several chances to score. Nuttall being a FIFA instructor will know how to sharpen Timothy. He will have to because his attacking options are not plentiful. Blackberry is far from his 2010 best and Patrick Oboya has not been fully fit all year.

With David Owino “Calabar” missing due to suspension, Nuttall may opt for Israel Emuge to replace him. The latter is now fit after an injury.Nuttall also has the option of deploying the youthful Charles Bruno.

It will be a tough outing against Ulinzi. Coach Matano is very adept at playing disruptive football.

“I have watched their (Ulinzi Stars) games. They are a compact, physical side and we expect a very tough game,” said Nuttall said.


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.



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.