Football Football

Fitting stage set for Bobby’s K’Ogalo farewell


GOR-WASEKAONAIROBI, Kenya, August 22- The perfect stage is set for the grand finale of Bobby Williamson’s reign at the helm of champions Gor Mahia when they resume their domestic duties against fierce rivals, Sony Sugar.

Seasoned script writers could not have penned a more befitting final act for Williamson, whom the club confirmed on Wednesday to Capital Sport, will depart to take over Harambee Stars after the Sunday encounter that has a feisty history to match.

Colloquially, the fixture is labelled ‘Gor A’ versus ‘Gor B’ in reference to their regional roots in the Nyanza region, a billing that infuriates Sony, inspiring them to reserve their best against K’Ogalo.

Besides drawing their bedrock support from the lake region, north and south Nyanza sub-tribe rivalries simmer under the surface and Williamson, the soft spoken man for the big occasion, will relish more than most the challenge to exit with the scalp of the ‘big enemy’ to cement his legacy after leading Gor for a year and two months.

To add spice to the tempestuous encounter, Gor’s City Stadium citadel in Nairobi will be the venue where thousands of the Green Army faithful will troop to accord their beloved head coach a befitting farewell.

On the opposite end of the dugout, another famous son of K’Ogalo, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, who until last season was the last Gor captain to lift the national title in 1995, thickens the plot by scheming to spoil the grand finale.

This has the potential of entering local football folklore if a festival of memorable football between two sides out to win at all cost is served.

Conversely, the underlying tensions could provide the recipe for disaster should they rear their ugly heads, an outcome all lovers of Kenyan football pray will not be the case.

Regardless of the result, the 53-year-old Scotsman will exit with his head held high after guiding Gor to their first domestic league titles in 18 years in addition to leaving Gor in a commanding position to repeat their success since they have three matches at hand on title rivals Tusker FC and Sofapaka.

The chasing pair failed to make capital on Gor’s two-week absence to feature in the Cecafa Kagame Cup where they bowed out at the group stages last week.

Having failed at the finish line to lead K’Ogalo to the trophy in 2010 when they finished runner-ups to Ulinzi Stars on the final day, Otieno could as well audition for the soon to be vacant role by reminding the Green Army faithful who hounded him out of the club the next season of his coaching credentials by silencing the crowd with victory.

Williamson who is yet to lose a match at City this season, has also never lost to Sony since joining K’Ogalo in February last year.

Under Williamson’s charge, seven players who lifted the league departed the club (keeper Ivo Mapunda, defender Donald Musoti both to Tanzanian side Simba SC, midfielders Anthony Akumu and Kevin Omondi, winger Shaban Kenga as well as forwards Rama Salim and Paul Kiongera).

“We as a club truly appreciate Williamson’s work since he arrived in Gor. He is a professional coach who saw us through tough times and through his guidance, we won the title and we are at a very good position to defend the title again this season.

“We wish him well and we will seek for his advice if necessary because he said he will be available when we need his advice,” Gor secretary, Chris Omondi told Capital Sport in hailing Williamson.

Sony, who lost 1-0 in the first-leg come to this fixture wounded and seeking to bounce from defeat by a similar marging to Western Stima last weekend.

The match will be the highlight of the weekend KPL programme.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nairobi City Stars will be looking to escape the relegation trap door in their trip to the coast to face Bandari whilst Chemelil Sugar welcome Stima to their Chemelil Complex home out to mill the three points out of them also on Saturday.

Basement side Nakuru All Stars will be up against Thika United at the Thika Municipal on Sunday.