Reports of Ze Maria’s return and Pollack’s departure


Despite coach Steve Pollack vehemently denying that he was leaving, there are numerous reports that he has indeed been replaced by Ze Maria

Additional reporting from goal.com
The KPL heavyweights are set to confirm the former KF Tirana tactician as the new man in charge as Steven Polack has left the country

Jose Marcelo Ferreira (Ze Maria) is expected to be appointed Gor Mahia’s head coach, Goal can exclusively reveal.

Rumours of the Brazilian’s return to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has gathered speed over the past few days and now a source close to K’Ogalo has intimated he is set to be appointed as a coach again.

“Unless something big or very special happens, Ze Maria is the new coach,” the source revealed.
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“Gor Mahia have been in the market for a few weeks searching for a new coach since they were sure Polack will not be part of them going forward.

“The hierarchy settled on Ze Maria unanimously because of his previous experience and of course his undoubted love for our team.

“I am saying the office settled on him unanimously because the new officials are working with unity since it is a lean office compared to the previous one.”

Ze Maria’s news comes just a day after coach Steven Polack requested for a 10-day holiday before the 2020/21 season begins.

A source close to Gor Mahia told Goal that Polack has left his role after he tabled a few needs he wanted the club to sort out before the new campaign begins.

“We are aware of how the previous coaches took holidays only to confirm their resignation while away from the club. Take it from me brother, he [Polack] is not returning,” the source said in regard to the Polack issue.

“He asked for a one-way ticket and all pending salaries before he left and this is the reason I am telling you he is gone. He had issues which seems are not going to be resolved any time soon.

“That is why he has left.”

In a recent interview, the former Inter Milan and Levante right-back-cum-midfielder Ze Maria revealed how coaching Gor Mahia was an exciting role.

“It was the biggest club in Kenya, so every game was like managing Flamengo or Corinthians in Brazil. The stadium was packed,” Ze Maria said then.

“There were difficulties. Sometimes you go to a stadium where the players don’t all fit in the changing room, so you have to change on the bus.

“But the passion is absurd. African players are technically similar to Brazilians, but they lack opportunities to move to bigger leagues.

“Because of the pitches, when you dribble, the ball would bounce a metre up in the air, but the quality with which they controlled and conducted it, not even a Brazilian would do that.”

The Brazilian succeeded Frank Nuttall, who had led K’Ogalo to the 2015 KPL title with an unbeaten record, but resigned in 2017 abruptly before joining KF Tirana.

He exited the club after it had just won the SportPesa Super Cup and were on top of the KPL table with 27 points.

Although Ze Maria could be appointed soon, Polack has maintained he will travel back and resume his duties.

“I am not a coward to leave and not to come back. I have a two-way ticket; after finishing my business with family at home, Gor Mahia will be my next step in preparations for the 2020/21 KPL season,” the Finnish coach told Goal.

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Ze Maria recalls his time in Kenya

Ze Maria seen here with Sandro Fantoni aka the Greenade aka Onyango

Former Gor Mahia coach and Brazil legend, Ze Maria, who coached Kogallo in 2016, spoke the the UK newspaper, the Guardian about his time in Kenya

Kenya was a jarring contrast. “I arrived in Nairobi and, when I got off the plane, I almost caught fire. The sun burns on your skin. I walked down the road and there were zebras on the other side. I was having lunch next to Lake Victoria and a guy came over and said: ‘Careful if you see any waves here, because it might be a hippopotamus.’ People wondered what I was doing there. ‘Zé Maria who played for Brazil and Inter?’ They wanted to touch me. People wanted to hear my stories. It was the biggest club in Kenya, so every game was like managing Flamengo or Corinthians in Brazil. The stadium was packed.

Ze Maria almost led Kogalo to a league title. But they were denied after a match against Tusker was awarded to Tusker due to misbehaviour from one fan. This led to a 6 point turnaround with Kogalo losing 3 points and Tusker gaining 3 points thus giving them the title.

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Coach Zico leaves for KCB

Gor Mahia’s assistant coach Zedekiah Otieno Zico has tendered his resignation to the club. He is set to join KCB FC as head coach.

Chairman Rachier confirmed Zico’s exit

“We have accepted Zico’s resignation and thank him for his dedicated service. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Rachier to Nairobi news.

Zico has been an integral part in Gor Mahia’s success under Frank Nuttall, Ze Maria, Dylan Kerr and Hassan Oktay.

As a player, He played for Gor Mahia starting in late 1989 and stayed on for almost a decade. He was head coach in 2010 and 2011. In 2010 he took Gor Mahia to the brink of winning the title. They were still in contention on the last day but needed Ulinzi to lose their last game. In the end, they finished second to Ulinzi.

During this period, he also had a brief stint as Harambee Stars coach. It was his team that ruined Uganda’s Cranes chanced of qualifying for AFCON 2012 when the game ended 0-0 in Kamapala, effectively ending Bobby Williamsons’s stint as Cranes coach. He then left for SoNy Sugar before returning again in 2015 as an assistant coach. Zico also ran for political office during the 2013 elections. He tried to be an MCA.

We thank Zico for his dedicated service and wish him the best at KCB.

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Welcome back Zedekiah Otieno Zico

Zico had plenty of success as coach in 2010

It has been officially announced that former Gor Mahia full back and coach Zedekiah Otieno “Zico” is set to make a comeback to the club. This time he will be an assistant coach replacing Tom Ogweno.

His experience will come in handy in our intentions to reclaim the league title this season,” said Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier to the Nation.

Zico joined Gor Mahia as a player in 1990. In 1990 he played alongside the veteran Austin Oduor was player/coach.. In the mid 1990s he was part of one of the strongest defensive units Gor Mahia ever fielded with players like Tobias Ocholla, Sammy Omollo “Pamzo”, Paul Ochieng “Kunde” and Joseph Owino “Andai”. That defense was responsible for the fact that Gor Mahia won the league 4 times (1990, 91, 93 and 95). The team was winning despite having a very low offensive output. But thanks to that solid defense, they conceded very few goals.  Zico excelled in being a solid defender and also being able to make frequent runs on the right wing to send crosses.

The best performance that Gor Mahia has ever achieved in the Africa champions cup or CAF champions league was in 1992 when they reached the quarter-finals.  In the second round they eliminated Cameroonian giants Canon Sportiff de Yaounde. It was Zico who scored the away goal as Gor Mahia held Canon 1-1 in Yaounde. Zico stayed with Gor Mahia until the late 1990s.

He later embarked on a coaching career. He took over at Gor Mahia in 2010, replacing Gideon Ochieng “Agido”. His first season was successful and he took Kogalo to the brink of winning the league. Kogalo were in contention until the last day. This despite fielding a very inexperienced unit. However 2011 was a below par season in which Gor Mahia lost their first league game 3-0 to Posta Rangers and ended up finishing 4th.  Once teams figured out to defend against his tactics, he did not adapt new ones. A coach must always adapt and change or else the team becomes predictable.

Thus in 2011, fans started to lose patience. Zico left in early 2012 and was replaced by the Camerounian Anaba Awono. In the subsequent years he has coached Harambee stars, SoNy Sugar and Posta Rangers. He also made an attempt at political office, vying for a councillor position in the 2013 elections.

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Thank You Bobby Ogolla

Long serving Gor Mahia assistant coach Bobby Ogolla has decided to step aside from the club. Ogolla who joined the club after taking over from Anaba Awono has been at the club for four years. In his playing days, Ogolla was a true legend and is still considered by many as the best central defender ever produced by Kenya. On behalf of Gor Mahia online supporters club, we would like to thank Bobby Legend for his years of service.

Additional reporting from goal.com

Ogolla confirmed to Goal on Thursday that he had decided to take a break from football and concentrate on ‘other issues’

Gor Mahia deputy coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla has quit after a successful season that saw the club finish 2015 league season unbeaten.

Ogolla confirmed to Goal on Thursday that he had decided to take a break from football and concentrate on ‘other issues’. “I have enjoyed my stay with Gor Mahia and would like to make it clear that I will not be part of the team next season.

“I enjoyed working with Gor Mahia players and was also happy to be part of the team that went 2015 league season unbeaten. I will always be there to support the team and will be available for any advice to the young players.”

Ogolla also thanked Gor Mahia fans for the support they accord the team. “K’Ogalo fans are the best in the region if not Africa. They support their team whole heartedly and I want to thank them for the support.”

The legendary Ogolla revealed that his contract with the club was to terminate on December 31. “My contract is supposed to end on December 31 but I have decided to make the decision so that I can plan for my future.

“I have informed club management of my intended move and so they are aware of it. I don’t need to be in Gor Mahia to serve in football. I will be open to other offers when good time comes.”

step aside after several years of distinguished service. On behalf of Gor Mahia online supporters club, we would like to thank Bobby for the work he has done.

Additional reporting from goal.com

 

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Top coaches have applied for Gor Mahia job

The position of Gor Mahia coach appears attractive to some top coaches even despite the financial instability at the club.

According to a report by goal.com, former Gor Mahia coach and fan favourite Zdravko Logarusic is foremost among those who have applied for the job. Logarusic sees it as unfinished business after he left the club in June of last year.

Sebastian Desabre

Former Esperance coach Sebastian Desabre is another top name who has applied for the job according to goal. The Frenchman Desabre is youthful at 38 but his record is stellar. Under him, Esperance won the Tunisian league. Thats not saying much considering how dominant Esperance is in Tunisia. But prior to Esperance, he coached Coton Sport Garoua of Cameroon whom he led to the Camerounian league title. He also coached the Camerounian side through the group stages of the Champions league to the semi-finals where they lost to Al Ahly of Egypt only on away goals rule.

Between 2010 and 2012 he was coach at Asec Mimosas of the Ivory Coast. There he led them to win the Coupe de cote d’ivoire in 2012 and the Coupe Houpouet Boigny in 2012. He also led them to the quarter finals of the CAF cup.

He has no experience in any Anglophone nation so it is not clear how good his English is.

Dorian Marinn

Eritrea national team coach Dorian Marinn has also applied for the job according to goal.com. The 54 year old Romanian is still listed as coach of King Faisal Babes in Kumasi, Ghana where he has coached since January 2014.  His coaching career has also taken him to Tishreen of Syria and Uganda Revenue authority.

A glance at Marinn’s curriculum vitae does not show any notable achievements and King Faisal are currently 14th out of 16 teams in the Ghanaian league and are staring at relegation.

However Some Kenyans might remember him as the coach under whom Eritrea beat Kenya twice during qualifications for the 2008 Africa nations cup. At the time, Frenchman Bernard Lama was Harambee stars coach.

Local coaches

Among the local coaches who have applied to take up the position include former AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops, Bidco United coach Alfred Imonje and former Nairobi City Stars coach Tim Bryett.  None of these have notable achievements either. There is no word on whether former coaches Sammy Omollo or Zedekiah Otieno have applied.

More Applications due

Club secretary general has indicated that the club expects more applicants to send their CVs.

“More applications are still coming. We have constituted an interviewing panel which will look at all those applicants and narrow it down to five before we pick the most suitable candidate,” he told goal.com. What is also not clear is whether the club has the financial wherewithal.

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