NAIROBI, Kenya, February 7 – He was one of the stars of the much revered and respected Cameroonian World Cup 1990 team that made history as the first African nation to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Mundial.
François Omam-Biyik is in Kenya as the coach of Gabonese side US Bitam and he has promised to summon the spirit of the World Cup that shaped his legacy to mar the return of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) to the CAF Champions League after 18 years when the sides clash in Nairobi Saturday.
“I have players with good technique and we came here to score goals nothing less. Gor have a good name and I know them very well, in 1983 they played in the finals (CAF Confed CUP) with Canon Yaoundé, but they had a good squad then.
“It took a long time for Gor to win the KPL, but they have a good head coach and players since they also have excellent Ugandans.
“Tomorrow (Friday) I will evaluate the players to gather more information since our target is to eliminate them in the preliminary round,” Biyik who played alongside Indomitable Lions legend Roger Milla, at 1990 World Cup, scoring the lone goal against reigning champions Argentina, told Capital Sport on Thursday after training at Nairobi’s City Stadium.
K’Ogalo who have represented the country in three Confederations Cup, bowing out at the first round, are hoping to have a good outing and overturn the 1996 results when they were eliminated in the first round of the champions league by Zimbabwean power house Dynamos FC.
However, it will not be all rosy to them as former Cameroon international Omam Biyik, who now coach US Bitam, has vowed to beat K’Ogalo at their home soil to start their campaign on a high.
After clinching the league last season, Gor coach Bobby Williamson, will once again be put in the acid test when he guides K’Ogalo in the continental assignment and many see him as experienced enough after coaching Uganda Cranes.
Speaking to Capital Sport after conducting training at Nyayo Stadium, the Scotsman said his charges are physically and mentally fit to compete and he will be taking every match as a bonus.
“We need to hit the ground running since pre-season is over but it’s along time since we played a match of this importance. We should at least have played a couple of league matches before we enter into a tournament of this magnitude.
“But we have not been afforded that so this is the first competitive game we will participate this season and hopefully we will have a good match,” Williamson told.
The coach added he will make few changes in the squad that lost 3-1 to Sofapaka in the Kenya Power Charity Cup and urged the Green Army to be a little bit patient and they will see the results.
“We expect to make number of changes but I’m not sure how many. That’s my secrete because I don’t want the opponent to know our game plan so we will keep our cards close to our chest.
“I don’t know much about US Bitam, I have only seen them on video and they are a good team, who knows they might be not the same since we have made changes and they have done so too.
“We have no idea what to expect from them and I’m sure they don’t know either.
“I urge our supporters to rally behind our team as they always do and I plead them not cause trouble since we promise to play well.”
Captain Jerim Onyango, said it’s a privilege to play in the champions league and urged his colleagues to give their best and come out victors.
“The coach has done his part what remains is us (players) to apply what we have been taught into practice.
“I urge our fans not to lose hope and come Saturday we will make them happy since we have good players especially the newcomers who have bring in depth,” the custodian said.
The league champions have a huge blow with dependable midfielder Kevin Omondi and forward Joseph Timona Wanyonyi ruled out of the first leg.
However, K’Ogalo recruited heavily in the just concluded transfer window, bringing on board experienced players like Ugandan internationals Godfrey Walusimbi and Geoffrey Kizito, the return of strikers Rama Salim and George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, midfielder Shaban Kenga and Haron Chakava.
It’s all waited to be seen if the mighty Gor will enter in history books by advancing to the second round, where they will meet Tunisian side Esperance.