Gor Mahia squad: Taofiq dropped, Emuge back

The Gor Mahia squad for the first leg of the 2015 KPL season was named yesterday. Missing from the squad is Ghanaian striker Taofiq Zakari. Meanwhile giant Ugandan defender Israel Emuge who at one point appeared to be on the way out has been recalled. Emuge had an injury plagued 2014 season.

As for Zakari, he is being dropped because the club has already reached its allowable quota of foreigners. On January 2, FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya announced that teams playing continental football will be allowed to sign 7 foreigners. Currently Gor Mahia has 9 foreign born players : Simon Pierre, Sibomana, Nigiyizimana, Kagere, Emuge, Dirkir Glay, Walusimbi, Aucho and Zakari. One of these ( either Glay or Pierre) qualifies for residency as a refugee.

According to orgainizing secretary Ronald Ngala, Zakari had been signed as a potential replacement for Dan Sserunkuma as Gor Mahia desperately searched for a goal-scorer. He was assesed by the assistant coaches and deemed acceptable. Coach Nuttall having assesed both he and Olunga deemed them adequate but not outstanding. Nuttall seemingly prefers to keep Emuge as the 7th foreigner.

“The signing was sanctioned by assistant coaches but the influx of better foreign players has complicated the matter” . There are several players who were signed on recommendation of the assistant coaches based on the specification the head coach left behind, Taofiq being one of them because coach needed a finisher” said Ngala

However according to Ronald Ngala, Taofiq has already signed a contract and the club is now obligated to sign him.

“The coach made that decision, the office is now obligated to act in the best interest of the player..so he will stay around until a mutual agreement is reached.” said Ngala

Interestingly, Taofiq played in the match against Kibera Black stars in which Gor Mahia won 3-0 thanks to goals from Sibomana, Kagere and Simon Pierre.

Gor Mahia 2015 Squad:

Goalkeepers – David Juma, Jerim Onyango, Boniface Oluoch.

Defenders – Haron Shakava, Dirkir Glay,Israel Emuge,Musa Mohammed, Simone Guidougue, Charles Bruno, Godfrey Walusimbi, Martin Werunga, Bernard Omondi, Sibomana, Eric Ochieng, Kevin Oluoch  Aboubad, Abdoul Nizigiyimana.

Midfielders -, Collins Okoth, Aucho Khalid, Jerry Santos, Innocent Wafula, Ronald Otieno, Ernest Wendo, Ali Abondo;

Strikers –Michael Olunga, George Odhiambo, Kagere Medie, Timothy Otieno.


New signings speak out on expectations

Glay and Zachary

Gor Mahia’s new signings are speaking out on what should be expected from then in the coming 2015 season.

Central defender Dirkir Glay, who joined from Thika United is imploring fans not to compare him to the recently departed David Owino “Calabar”

“I don’t want fans to compare me with Owino, I’m joining the team to assist them win titles. I know it’s a challenge because they expect me to prove myself since they lost Owino.

“They expect me to do more than him but I assure fans I will do my best in partnership with my colleagues to succeed this season,” Glay told Capital Sport.

Glay who signed a two year contract went on to say that he was motivated at the prospect of playing for Gor Mahia.

“Gor is the biggest club in Kenya so it’s a great achievement for me and it’s the club that I wished to play after three years with Thika. I came for a challenge and I’m sure with the good environment as time goes by; I will adapt,”

Jerry Santos

Jerry Santos, a defensive midfielder is also motivated at the prospect of playing for Kogalo.

“It’s been a challenge playing outside my country but I have gained experience I want to use in my future career. K’Ogalo is a big team and it’s an honour joining Kogalo.

Santos also said he is his own person and rejects comparisons with the departing Kizito.

“I hope I will help Gor achieve whatever they plan for the season. We can’t match what Kizito offered because he is a quality player but as Santos, I’m bringing in what cannot be compared with anyone,” Santos, a former Harambee Stars midfielder declared to capital FM.http://gormahia.net/latest/wp-admin/post.php?post=5996&action=edit&message=10

Santos, who is 26, was first discovered in 2008 while playing for Dandora Youth in the Extreme Super 8 tournament. He was soon recruited by Tusker. His career also took him to Vietnam, Tanzania and Albania. In 2012, he won a case against Albanian side KF Tirana after they terminated his contract prematurely. He was awarded US $35,000.

Taofiq Zachary

One thing the 20 year old Ghanaian does not lack is confidence. He says he scored 18 goals while playing for Al Shaab in the United Arab emirates and he has put Kenyan defenders on notice that he plans to replicate that form in Kenya. Prince Tagoe who played for Ghana at the 2006 world cup is also a former Al Shaab player.

Zachary says he left the UAE due to racism. “I have been with the Arabs for over a year now but I must say they do not like black people, when things do not go right; you are at loggerheads with them. ”

Zachary revealed how former Gor Mahia player Dan Makori enabled him to land at Gor Mahia.

“I was at Al Shaab with a friend, Makori, who happened to have played for Gor Mahia. He (Makori) however didn’t succeed at staying at the club after negotiations didn’t go well so he came back, that was about a year ago, Taofiq narrated to futaa.com

“Then after that, I received a call recently from Gor management saying they needed a clinical striker, I told them if there is a chance, why not? I will give it a try. I am here now, very happy with how they welcomed me and though I do not have a true picture of the Kenyan league but being Africa, I am sure it’s more or less similar.”

Zachary hopes that his exploits will enable him to someday play for the Ghanaian national team.