NAIROBI, June 8 – Champions Gor Mahia will release six players as they seek to bolster their squad for the Kenyan Premier League second-leg and Cecafa Club Championships.
High flying K’Ogalo are in their best form, having wrapped the first-leg of their title defence unbeaten on 39 points, 12 ahead of GOtv Shield winners Sofapaka succumbed to a shock 1-0 loss to makeshift AFC Leopards side on Sunday.
Head coach Frank Nuttall who has set a KPL record by going 15 matches without defeat, has seen his impressive attackers of Rwandan Meddie Kagere, youngster Michael Olunga as well as midfielder Ali Abondo score most goals so far (30) and conceding the least (six).
The Scotsman who declined to disclose the players that will be released; told Capital Sport he is casting his net wide during the June transfer window.
“Six players will be leaving but I don’t think I’m at liberty to say who they are since I will not like to compromise anything. I want to thank them on behalf of the club, they have played their part in helping us in different ways so far and when they do find greener pastures we wish them well.
“We will always be looking to strengthen our squad. I will only bring in players who will add something to the dynamic of the team,” Nuttall, who has just lost once with Gor since succeeding countryman Bobby Williamson, outlined.
Players likely to be dropped include; midfielder Jerry Santos who joined the team this season from Tanzania’s Coastal Union, Ugandan defender Israel Emuge as well as strikers Timothy Otieno and Ghanaian Taofiq Zachary who only featured in the pre-season.
Nutall was non-committal on whether crowd darling and Ugandan forward Dan Sserukuma who helped Gor bag the back-to-back titles and is available as a free agent will return to the fold.
Sserunkuma reportedly agreed to rejoin the champions after terminating his contract with Tanzanian giants Simba SC but Nuttall insists his signings will depend on who will be available.
Also said to be on Gor’s radar are former forward Rama Salim now with Coastal Union and South Africa’s Amazulu FC winger Paul Were.
“We are casting our net wide because we will be looking to bring in different players; it may be one or four who knows. It will also depend with the financial status of the club.
“I’m not willing to comment on any particular player but we are aware of Sserunkuma’s situation so we will see how it goes,” Nuttall who has won two titles, 2014 KPL title and DSTVSuper Cup told.
Ahead of the second-leg that starts in three weeks time, the Scotsman was coy when asked if the team would end the season unbeaten.
“We have been consistent, focused and worked very hard since January; sometimes under difficult circumstances so I’m pleased on how they have performed so far. I’m not interested in records, unbeaten or milestones.
“Credit goes to the players and staff who have shown the desire to win and be successful and I must commend them on that.”
Gor will represent the county at the Cecafa Club Championship in July, where they will be seeking to better last year’s disappointing performance that saw them bow out at the preliminary round without a win.
But Nuttall said the regional showpiece is not his priority as they aim to quest their 30 years Cecafa trophy drought.
“It’s not something that I have in my plans at the moment because it will depend on KPL fixtures and the Top 8 competition.”
He rubbished reports he had been approached by Football Kenya Federation to help Harambee Stars head coach Williamson as a fitness trainer.
“It’s news to me; I have never been approached by anyone to work in the national team in any capacity. It’s speculation and until my employer approaches me with any type of request, I just continue and focus on my job,” the former England Under-17 and Middlesbrough fitness trainer affirmed.