Mixed luck for former Kogalo coaches in Ghana

Former Gor Mahia coaches Zdravko Logarusic and Frank Nuttall were hired by the two most storied Ghanain clubs: Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.

Logarusic had a superb start and was even rewarded with a brand new pickup truck by the club chairman.

However after 11 matches, he was fired following an outcry by fans. The club had won 5 games, lost 2 and drew 2. The primary fan complaint was the lack of goals. Something that plagued Kogalo under Logarusic in 2013. Though they were leading the league, goals were hard to come by.

Kotoko have faired poorly since Logarusic departed. They have gone from second to eighth place.

Frank Nuttall is fairing much better. His side is currently third in the standings.



Former Gor Mahia coaches united in Ghana

Frank Nuttall and Zdravko Logarusic have been appointed to coach the two most prominent Ghanaian teams. Nuttall was appointed to coach Hearts of Oak a team that has won the Africa champions cup in 2000 and the CAF Confederations cup in 2004.  He took to his social media pages to announce his new position.

”Very happy to announce that I have been appointed as Head Coach at Accra Hearts of Oak in Ghana. Looking forward to the challenge ahead!” he said.

Logarusic for his part was appointed to coach Asante Kotoko which is perhaps the most famous Ghanaian club. They won the old Africa champions cup in 1970 and 1983.


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.



Gor Mahia to name coach by Wedensday

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that the club will name its new coach by Wednesday September 3.

“I do not want to say much because we haven’t finalized issues yet, but what I can tell you is that we have narrowed down to four applicants, and we shall be announcing the name of the successful coach by Wednesday,” Rachier said to the KPL website.

Former coach Zdravko Logarusic is among the leading contenders and is perhaps the strongest candidate due to his familiarity with “the terrain”. Loga is also tha fan favourite because he never lost to arch rivals AFC Leopards.

Another strong candidate was former Gor Mahia player  and former coach Zedekiah Otieno. But Secretary general Chris Omondi has strongly hinted that the likely candidate is a foreigner.

“The shortlisting is complete and we are now sending interview emails, but there is one particular foreign coach with whom we are having direct communication with and unless something changes, he will succeed Williamson as he looks well qualified,” he said to the KPL site.

Amrouche Hits at Logarusic

Immediate former Harambee stars coach Adel Amrouche who had been rumoured to be a candidate has said he is not interested and claims he is still attached to Harambee stars. And he went a step further to state that Logarusic is not a good candidate for the job

“I still have contract with FKF and I am not interested to coach a club in Kenya yet. I respect Gor Mahia a lot but in my opinion Loga can be good solution for the club”, he stated to futaa.com

Critical Juncture

Gor Mahia will need the new coach to hit the ground running as they face what is likely the most critical phase of the league this year as they play four matches in 10 days.

Sun 14-09-14 15:00 Tusker vs Gor Mahia Kasarani
Wed 17-09-14 16:00 Gor Mahia vs Ulinzi Stars City
Sat 20-09-14 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar City
Wed 24-09-14 16:00 Gor Mahia vs Bandari City
Sat 20-09-14 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar


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.


Reports: Logarusic among those in contention

Apparently former Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic is among those who are seriously being considered to take over as Gor Mahia coach following the departure of Bobby Williamson. This according to a report in the Nation.

“It is safe to reveal we will be appointing a foreign coach (to replace Williamson) considering the composition of our multi-national squad,” the club’s organising secretary David Kiilo said Tuesday to the Nation.

The  Nation Sport suggests that Logarusic, who won the FKF and Top 8 titles during his earlier stint at the club that ended in mid last year, is keen to make a comeback.

However the management is wary of the tactician’s ‘extra baggage’ and would prefer to outline what the Croatian tactician can or cannot say or do on paper as part of the agreement.

It is a reversal from 2 weeks ago when Secretary General Chris Omondi declared that the club was not interested in hiring Loga but would instead persuade Williamson to stay until season end.

Should Logarusic return, it will be a reversal of last season when he left at Mid season for Williamson to take over.

Logarusic was most recently at Simba of Dar es Salaam where he was fired for several reasons including the fact that Simba finished an unaccustomed fourth in the league and Logarusic was said to be extremely rude to players.

There is no word yet on which other foreign coaches are being considered.



Gor Mahia not interested in Logarusic

Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi has said that Gor Mahia would not be interested in rehiring coach Zdravko Logarusic. The charismatic coach Croatian coach was recently fired by Simba FC.

Loga as he is popularly known took over as Gor Mahia coach in 2012 and steered Gor Mahia from the relegation zone to the brink of winning the national league. This feat mad him a hero among Gor Mahia fans. He also won the praise of fans for always beating arch rivals AFC Leopards. But he quit in 2013 with Gor Mahia sitting atop the national league due to a disagreement about his contract.

Ever since he left, a section of  Gor Mahia fans have been demanding his return. The demands reached a crescendo when current coach Bobby Williamson announced he was leaving to become Harambee stars coach.

However Omondi has indicated that they are not interested in Loga.

“We are not looking forward to re-employing Logarusic and are yet to receive his application so far. We are instead persuading Williamson to hold on till the end of the season as we search for a suitable replacement”, Omondi told futaa.com

“The club needs enough time to go into the lookout for a suitable replacement that is why we are negotiating with Williamson to still be with us for the remaining few matches in the season.”

All things considered, this seems the most logical way to approach this issue especially since the news of Williamson’s departure was rumoured to have thoroughly demoralized the players. In fact their lackadaisical display in Kigali can be partially attributed to the news.

However given that Gor Mahia officials have a penchant for contradicting each other, we can never what what the club will do next.

Logarusic at Simba

Loga’s record at the Dar es Salaam based side has been far from impressive. He took over from Frenchman Patrick Liewig when Simba were still in contention to win the league. But he led them to 4th place behind Yanga, Mbeya City and Azam. A fourth place finish for a well funded team that has won the league over twenty times is unacceptable.

During his stint at Simba, Loga coached in 21 matches, winning 8, losing 8 and drawing 5, also an unacceptable for a club used to dominating in Tanzania.


Loga is said to have been fired due to his penchant for insulting players and even officials. In fact several months ago, Ugandan defender Joseph Owino almost quit Simba complaining about Loga’s insults.  He was finally fired after Simba lost to Zesco of Zambia 3-0 in a friendly match. Sources close to the club say that Loga was involved in a heated argument with players after the match blaming them of showing a dismal display during the match. Interestingly, his firing comes only a few days after Simba signed Raphael Kiongera, one of Loga’s favourite players. In fact the Zesco match was Kiongera’s debut.

There are other coaches whose name has been mentioned as possible replacements


Among the coaches who have been rumoured as possible replacements for Williamson should he leave are former coach Zedekiah Otieno Zico who now coaches SoNy. Early in 2014, it even appeared Zico would return to the club as Williamson’s assistant. But Zico likely will not leave his job at SoNy for a job that might last only 5 months.

Stanley Okumbi

After Logarusic unceremoniously left Gor Mahia last year, Stanley Okumbi’s name as a possible successor was on everyone‘s lips and it is believed his club Mathare United blocked the move. Okumbi is currently the youngest coach in the KPL and has a knack of rebuilding successful squads every season. This is what he has done at Mathare United where he has been for the last three seasons

But if Mathare blocked his move last year, they will certainly block it this time around.

Luc Eymael

The former AFC Leopards coach has always expressed a desire to come back into the KPL after his sudden exit last season. After leaving Leopards, he went to Rayon Sport of Rwanda where he left after being suspended for two years for misconduct.

He started well at AFC but soon ran afoul of officials and would soon leave in a huff. And with the financial instability at Gor Mahia now, this does not seem an optimal choice.

Financial Status

Having said all that, the biggest impediment to the club’s ability to hire a good coach is the financial instability occasioned by KRA. This is something the club officials do not seem to have done much to resolve. It is now 5 months later and we still do not know if any agreement has been reached with KRA. Meanwhile initiatives like 350100 and the membership recruitment drive have fallen by the wayside due to lack of followup.