Report: Kipkirui, Philemon Otieno, Owusu are leaving

A number of reports indicate that Gor Mahia are set to lose more key players including Nicholas Kipkirui who pledged to stay only a few weeks back, Jackson Owusu, whom coach Polack has been pleading with to stay and Philemon Otieno who was left to fend for himself when he picked up an injury that was potentially career threatening, are all said to be leaving Kogallo.

Additional reporting from goal.com

Latest rumours indicate the trio are set to exit the club in what is expected to be a massive exodus from the record KPL champions
Nicholas Kipkirui, Jackson Owusu and Philemon Otieno are reportedly on their way out of Gor Mahia.

Kipkirui, who was signed from the Kenyan Premier League (KL) side Zoo FC in 2018, is said to be on his way out of the Green Army for personal reasons.

The youngster was among the players Gor Mahia depended on to give them goals in the Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup assignments as well as in the league campaign.

His role became even more important after the record league champions lost Rwandan international Jacques Tuyisenge to Petro Atletico of Angola in 2019.

On the other hand, Otieno missed the 2019/20 campaign after he sustained an injury when he was playing for Kenya against Tanzania in an African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier in August 2019 at Kasarani.

His injury generated friction between his club and the national team as both sides traded accusations on who was responsible for taking charge of Otieno’s medical bills.

In a recent interview, the full-back stated he had to seek private medication, an effort that was boosted by his international teammates including Victor Wanyama and Michael Olunga.

Owusu, who signed for Gor Mahia in the last transfer window, arrived to join Steven Polack from Asante Kotoko of Ghana but his stay was characterised by hotel controversies.

A Buruburu hotel, where the Ghanaian was staying since he arrived in the country, had halted serving him due to huge pending bills which were supposed to be taken care of by Gor Mahia.

Although he had a good start on the pitch for the KPL bigwigs, his arrival coincided with financial struggles as the club ran without a sponsor.

In the latest interview with Goal, coach Polack confirmed the midfielder had promised him he will rejoin the club ahead of the new campaign but recent reports indicate otherwise.

“Well, he said to me yes, he wants to come back, but you never know, in football you never know negotiations how they go,” Polack said.

“I still want to keep the player, he is part of my plans and I have asked the club to make sure we keep him but as I said, at the end of the day what matters are the negotiations between the club and the player.”

The tactician also said he was going to come back from his leave only if he is assured the situation at Gor Mahia improves.

Gor Mahia have lost Boniface Omondi to Wazito FC whereas David Mapigano left and has signed a two-year deal with Azam FC of Tanzania.

Dependable centre-back Joash Onyango followed Francis Kahata and Meddie Kagere to Simba SC on a two-year deal too.

The Green Army have, however, been linked with a number of Western Stima players including Benson Omalla, Samuel Njau, Kelvin Wesonga, Sydney Ochieng, Kennedy Owino, and Abdalla Wankuru.

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Philemon Otieno extends Gor Mahia contract

Philemon Otieno has put pen to paper for another two seasons at Kogalo. He is also back in training. Otieno was injured during a Harambee stars friendly and required surgery. When it came time to pay for the surgery, FKF initially agreed to send him to France for the surgery. But a month later Both FKF and Gor Mahia pointed fingers at each other saying each should pay for the surgery. It took the intervention of fellow players like Johana Omollo and Michael Olunga for Otieno to get the surgery he needed.

Additional reporting from the Nation

A senior member of the club’s technical bench – requested to remain anonymous – confirmed the development, saying the 27-year-old player” still has a lot to offer the team.”
Otieno, whose four-year contract with Gor was to elapse at the end of January, has been out of action since August 2019, following a knee injury he picked while doing duty for the national team.
He underwent a reconstructive surgery in September the same year.
Speaking on Monday after holding his first training with the team at Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi, Otieno said his heart is still at the club and that he hopes to stay on.
Head coach Steven Polack also said he wants the former Ushuru man to stay at the club

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Philemon Otieno to return in January


Gor Mahia fullback Philemon Otieno, who underwent surgery earlier this year, is set to return to football in January

Additional reporting from the Nation.

Otieno, who picked an anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing for Harambee Stars in a Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Tanzania in August, had already begun training with the team before the ongoing strike started. He now trains alone and attends gym sessions with his physiotherapist.

The Kenyan international told Nation Sport that he is eager to return to the pitch since his rehabilitation is almost done.

“I’m on the recovery path and it is almost done. I will be ready to play for Gor Mahia in January since I had been training with the team before the strike but now I’m continuing on my own. It has been a long time and I’m yearning to be back to play football,” said Otieno.

The K’Ogalo right back, who can also play in midfield, says he holds no grudge against Gor Mahia or Football Kenya Federation concerning the tirade that surrounded his treatment which forced him to turn back to his family and friends to raise money for his knee surgery.

“It was a tough time but I don’t want to talk about it because I’m focused on reviving my career. Issues will always arise in football but that doesn’t mean I lose hope and abandon my talent. I have a passion for the game and my focus is to help Gor Mahia bag the Kenya Premier League title,” he said.

On the unending crisis at Gor Mahia concerning salary arrears, Otieno urged the players and the club hierarchy to reach a consensus so that everyone in the club can pull in one direction.

“I can’t say much on what has been transpiring in the team because I have not been on the pitch. However, we need to move forward as a team and I believe the situation will change and all issues will be sorted out,” he added.

Gor Mahia players are still on strike with the champions set to play Kisumu All Stars on December

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Tobias Otieno determined and motivated

New signing Tobias Otieno has impressed many fans and pundits alike, many of whom have touted him as a future star. He tells the star that he is motivated to play well enough to earn a place in the national team.

Courtesy of the Star

Gor Mahia midfield enforcer Tobias Otieno is losing no sleep despite being overlooked for the national soccer team, Harambee stars squad that lost to Mozambique last Sunday.

The former Sony Sugar hard man has been a revelation in his first few months at the 18-time league champions and has been touted as a future national team regular.

“I am happy to continue working hard and helping my club achieve their objectives. The matter of being selected for the national team is one that the coaches have to make. I know if I continue playing well for Gor, eventually God willing, I will get a chance,” said the Under-23 international.

Four of Tobias team-mates at Gor Clifton Miheso, Lawrence Juma, skipper Kenneth Muguna as well as defender  Joash Onyango were in the starting line up for the Mozambique friendly—something that thrilled the 21-year-old.

“It is a motivation to see players you are with every day in training playing for the national team. It gives you believe that if you work as hard as they do, you will also get an opportunity to play at that level. It is every footballer’s dream to represent his country and I am no different,” remarked Toby.

Though he is mainly used as a defensive shield by coach Steven Pollack, Toby’s ball-handling skills enable him to venture further forward and he revealed that he is working hard to add goals to his game.

“Football has evolved. It is no longer the sole responsibility of strikers to score. Goals are something that I am working hard to bring into my game,” he explained.

Gor will be back in action this weekend to defend their perfect start to the campaign when they take on Kariobangi Sharks at Kasarani.

The defending champions remain firm favourites to win an unprecedented fourth successive league title having amassed twelve points in an unblemished title defence so far.

“Our fans are very demanding and that gets to the players and we cannot rest on our laurels. Every season has different challenges and our target again is to retain our title and do well on the continental front,” concluded Toby.

Philemon Otieno aims for December Return

Philemon Otieno, who suffered a career threatening injury while playing for the national team, says his rehab is going well and he is on track for a December return to action.

“I’m seeing the physio and I can tell you that everything has gone on well smoothly after the operation. Next week I should start the normal jogs which will be followed by ball work in the coming weeks.”

“In December I think I will be ready to return into action according to the schedule I have been given,” Otieno told Futaa.

After his injury, the FKF refused to pay for his surgery. It was left to his Harambee stars team-mates to foot the bill for the surgery.

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Philemon Otieno struggles not over

Gor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno has been left to fend for himself while recovering from his injury as the club is no longer paying him.

Report by Nairobi News

Gor Mahia officials are facing accusations of abandoning Philemon Otieno at a time when the player needs the club the most.

The Kenyan international defender, who featured prominently for Harambee Stars at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt (21 June – 19 July), is on the mend after recently undergoing correctional surgery at a Nairobi hospital to repair his damaged knee ligaments.

But then, sources close to the player say he is now struggling to make ends meet as the club officials have not checked on him.

Neither have they paid his salary for the past two months.

“He appears stranded. Nobody (at the club) has called to check on him. We understand the team is facing some financial challenges but the players have twice in the past month received some stipend from the management amounting to Sh42,000 but he (Philemon) was left out,” the source told Nairobi News.

It has been a year to forget for the former Ushuru FC player.

He suffered a serious knee injury while playing for Harambee Stars in August and for the next six weeks or so, Football Kenya Federation and his club publicly differed on who should foot his treatment.

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Philemon Otieno undergoes surgery, thanks well wishers

Gor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno “Mbish” finally underwent surgery on Thursday of last week. He says he was abandoned by both Gor Mahia and by FKF and had to depend on well wishers.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia player Philemon Otieno has been sidelined for four months after undergoing successful knee surgery on Thursday last week.

This is after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) failed to cater for his treatment for an injury he sustained while on national duty with Harambee Stars.

Otieno was injured during the return leg of the first round 2020 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier pitting Harambee Stars against Taifa Stars at Kasarani in August.

Otieno told Nation Sport that he was operated on in one of the hospitals in Nairobi after raising the required Sh450,000 for surgery. He revealed that the amount was realised through contributions by family members, friends, fans and part of his savings.  

“I underwent surgery on my knee on Thursday (last week) and I’ve been continuing with physiotherapy since then according to doctor’s instructions. I am very grateful to my family, friends, fellow players and fans for coming to my aid at the time of need and for their prayers,” an emotional Otieno said.

KEFWA SUPPORT

tieno also thanked Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) for supporting him.

“Apart from Kefwa, I want to specifically thank Musa Mohamed, Michael Olunga, Joash Onyango, Johana Omollo and Aboud Omar. Indeed they are true friends plus all those who helped me,” he added.  

Mbish, as he is fondly referred to by fans, also insisted that he has no hard feelings against FKF saying he is willing to feature for the national team in future.

“What transpired is now history to me and my main aim is to embark on a process to recovery and play football again. I am in touch with my club, players and the coach and I think I will be able to play again in January next year. I haven’t ruled out playing for the national team in future since it provides a platform for one to grow in his career. I have consulted with my family and decided that we let go all that happened,” he added.

Neither Gor Mahia nor FKF – who have been tussling over Otieno’s treatment – contributed towards the surgery.

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Gor Mahia and FKF disagree over Philemon Otieno treatment

The career of Gor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno who sustained a career threatening injury while playing for Harambee stars is in limbo

Additional reporting from the Nation

Record Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are locked in a tussle over the treatment of Philemon Otieno who was injured while on national team duty.

Otieno, who emerged as the first choice right back for both club and country last season, picked a knee injury during the return leg of the first round 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier pitting Harambee Stars against Taifa Stars at Kasarani last month. Otieno was replaced in the first half as Kenya lost 4-1 on post-match penalties following a barren draw.

Reports indicate that FKF had planned to airlift the player for surgery in France few days after the match but that has not happened to date.

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda has accused the federation of neglecting their player rendering him unavailable for club assignments.

“I wrote a letter to FKF on September 4 on the state of Philemon’s injury and they have never bothered to answer. The player needs to be treated urgently because he is suffering and is in pain. They wrote to us when they needed the player for national assignment but now they have ignored us and deserted him yet it is their responsibility to meet his medical cost,” an aggrieved Aduda told Nation Sport.

Aduda dismissed claims that Otieno has been released by the club reiterating that he is still contracted to Gor Mahia until January 2020.

“Nobody has terminated Philemon’s contract, we only severed it for some time and gave his jersey number to another player. He is still our player. What is surprising is that when Brian Mandela got injured in Harambee Stars camp in France, FKF paid for his treatment and didn’t refer him to his club in South Africa. Why is that not happening in Philemon’s situation?,” posed Aduda.

However, acting FKF CEO Barry Otieno insists that it’s not the prerogative of national team players to be treated by the federation.

“There is no law that say the federation should cater for medicals expenses of a player injured while playing for the national team We also don’t have comprehensive insurance cover for players in the national team, we only give them covers when traveling out of the country for matches,” said Otieno who urged Gor Mahia to carry their own cross. “Philemon is a Gor Mahia player and the club should help him get treatment. As at now, the federation has no money but the situation would have been different if finances were available,” he added.

The surgery, to reconstruct complete tear of Otieno’s anterior cruciate ligament, is estimated to cost Sh500,000.

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Aduda: Players make their name at Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda is certain that Clifton Miheso will shine at Gor Mahia.

“He will realise his potential at Gor Mahia, and he knows the same. We have seen many players come to Gor Mahia and make their name, and it will be the same case with Miheso.” said Aduda to goal.com

Aduda gave examples of other players who made a name for themselves at Kogalo:

“When Michael [Olunga] joined Gor Mahia, he was just an ordinary player playing for both Thika United and Tusker, but after a few seasons later every team was salivating for his signature.

“It was the same case with Godfrey [Walusimbi) when we signed him from DR Congo. The team he was playing for thought he was not a good player but when he joined Gor Mahia, he won the hearts of many and even got a call up to the Uganda national team.

“Another good example is Rwandan striker Jacques [Tuyisenge) whom fans cried out we had wasted Sh4million to acquire his services. Tuyisenge came and scored as many goals and helped Gor Mahia to win three consecutive titles, and the rest remains history.

“One thing is for sure, Clifton [Miheso] will pick up at Gor Mahia and will be the darling of the fans soon.”

Philemon Otieno goes to France for treatment

Defender Philemon Otieno who tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the CHAN match against Tanzania will be out of football for 3 months. He has traveled to France where he will undergo surgery and rehab treatment. The trip is being arranged by FKF.

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Philemon sees red as Kenya trounced by Senegal

Philemon Otieno regained his place in the starting line-up. Francis Kahata started on the bench but came on in the second half as coach Migne tried to inject some attacking impetus.

But it was all for nought as Senegal proved that they are a class above Kenya, winning 3-0.

Philemon Otieno had a nightmarish game. Two rash challenges so him cautioned twice and therefore sent off. It was similar to the yellow he got in the first game. It invalidated all the other solid work he had done.

For a long period in the first half, it seemed Kenya was going to match Senegal as they strung together a series of passes, though they still did not manage a shot on goal in the first half. Johana Omollo in particular was useful when it came to connecting passing movements due to his ability to hold onto the ball under pressure.

Kenya defended stoutly in the first half. But they also have goalkeeper Matasi to thank. He made a number of daring saves including a penalty from Sadio Mane.

But Kenya soon ran out of steam. Started to give the ball away cheaply and unable to withstand the Senegal pressure, they started to boot the ball foreward to lone striker Olunga. This was futile because Olunga was always surrounded by two world class central defenders with no other attacker in sight.

Ayub Masika was to support Olunga. He tried to make incisive runs using his speed. Whereas he can outrun people in the Chinese league, he found the speedy Senegalese to be a different kettle of fish.

Wanyama was average. Dennis Odhiambo had Kenya’s first shot on goal when he latched onto a rebound. His goalbound shot was parried by the goalkeeper.

Former Gor Mahia players:

Eric Ouma often tried to outrun the Senegalese which is not a sound strategy because the Senegalese have always been fast and were able to match him unlike the Tanzanians.

Musa Mohamed played a key role in bottling Mane for much of the game. But he was finally beaten to the ball by the Liverpool striker for Senegal’s second goal.

Michael Olunga struggled as a lone striker as he was not getting any passes in scoring position. Basicallyu Harambee stars created hardly any chances

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Kahata in action as Kenya beat Tanzania 3-2

The duo of Olunga and Ouma were key when Gor Mahia won the league unbeaten in 2015

Midfield ace Francis Kahata was the only Gor Mahia player in action on Thursday as Kenya twice came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2 in a thrilling / nerve wracking encounter. Philemon Otieno did not play and Joash Onyango is still injured.

In what is now known as the majiarani derby, there were however a significant number of former Gor Mahia players including David Owino Calabar who played in place of Philemon. Eric Ouma who played in midfield and Michael Olunga who scored a brace. And Musa Mohamed who had another quiet game.

Tanzania took the lead against the run of play. From a lightning quick counter attack, Mbwana Samatta found himself wide open on the left flank. Of all the players to leave wide open, this ought to have been the last one since he has an impressive goal-scoring record for TP Mazembe and now plays in the Belgian top tier. But Calabar was nowehere to be seen and neither was any other defender. Sammatta’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Matasi right into the path of Msuva who duly netted.

Kenya battled back gamely. The equalizer came via Michael Olunga who scored with a spectacular scissors kick from a goalmouth melee. Kenya had barely finished celebrating when Samatta found himself wide open again on the left flank. This time he made a clever run and latched onto a through pass, leaving Calabar in his wake. His first attempt was stopped. But he made good on his second attempt. Tanzania went into half time leading 2-1.

Kahata had a quiet game but he did not put a foot wrong and was precise with his passes. But he was replaced by John Avire before halftime as coach Migne who made a tactical change as he looked for urgency. To sharpen the attack, coach Migne also replaced Abud Omar. And John Avire of Sofapaka. impressed with his work rate.

Kenya once again battled back. From a set play, Belgium based Johana Omollo, a product of Ofafa Jericho high school, sneaked behind the Tanzania defence to head the ball home.

Kenya then appeared to take their foot off the accelerator. To add some urgency, coach Migne brought on Eric Omondi Johana. He did not have an impressive game. But his one moment of brilliance created the third goal. His mazy run down the right flank ended with a pass to Olunga who turned around and scored with a low drive past the outstretched Tanzania goalkeeper.

Joseph Okumu was once again Kenya’s most impressive defender. Omollo was solid and did not put a foot wrong. Wanyama was okay but had far too many errant passes. Often he tried to make decisive passes into the box when more patience was called for. He had a fine header saved by the goalkeeper in the second half.

Masika once again looked very lively on the flanks. However he wasted a lot of runs by giving the ball away. On the opposite flank, Ouma Santos impressed with his industry. He almost scored with a volley from close range in the 14th minute but was denied by the keeper.

Tanzania were coached by former Nigeria winger Emmanuel Ammunike who featured against Gor Mahia in a 1994 CAF cup match while playing for Zamalek. On that day he was being tightly marked by Tobias Ocholla and his frustrations led him to lash out with a vicious elbow to Ocholla’s forehead. That match ended 1-1 at Nyayo stadium.

Ochola who was known as “Jua Kali” for his tight marking, should give Calabar tips. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Samatta open on that flank. Do that against Senegal and Sadio Mane will bury Kenya.

Stars now play Senegal in the final group game, hoping for draw that will propel them to the next stage.

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