NAIROBI, July 1 – Back-to-back KPL Champions Gor Mahia will seek to end their three-decade Cecafa Club title drought when the 2015 edition gets underway in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania from July 18 to August 2.
K’Ogalo were drawn in a tricky Pool A alongside Tanzania giants, Young Africa, former midfielder Anthony Akumu’s Al Khartoum from Sudan, Somali’s Telcom and KMKM from Zanzibar.
Al Khartoum, coached by former Ghana national team head coach Kwesi Appiah replaced defending champions Al Merreikh who pulled out to concentrate on the CAF Champions League after qualifying for the lucrative Group stages.
The second team from Sudan, Al Shandy will take on last year’s beaten finalists, APR of Rwanda, Burundi’s LLB and Elman of Somalia in a relatively easy Pool B while Uganda’s Kampala Capital Authority FC, Azam FC (Tanzania), Malakia (South Sudan) and Adama City (Ethiopia) will battle it out in Pool C.
Gor, who will open their campaign against hosts Yanga on the first day of the tournament, will be out to better last year where they were eliminated at the preliminary round without a win.
Head coach, Frank Nuttall will see his in form side that is yet to lose locally this term, tested against fellow domestic champions from Tanzania in an acid test to their hopes but the Scotsman was coy on his outlook for the regional club showpiece.
“It’s not something that I’m thinking about right now because I have my plans on different circumstances depending on the KPL fixtures. When we are done with the two matches, I will start planning for Cecafa,” Nuttall who had not come in when Gor crashed out ignominiously, stated.
At last year’s edition in Rwanda, K’Ogalo managed just a point in four matches after drawing 2-2 with APR for their only result.
They lost 1-2 to KCCA FC and to Djibout’s Telecom as well as Atletico of Burundi by the same margin when the team was under the tutelage of Harambee Stars head coach Bobby Williamson.
K’Ogalo are the second best team in tournament history having lifted the trophy five times (1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985), one less than six-times champions Simba SC of Tanzania.
Winners will receive Sh2.9m (USD 30 000), runner-ups pocket Sh1.9m (USD 20,000) while third finisher takes home Sh992, 509 (USD10 000)
Group A: Yanga (Tanzania), Gor Mahia ( Kenya), Khartoum ( Sudan), Telecom ( Djibout), KMKM (Zanzibar ).
Group B: APR( Rwanda) , Al Shandy ( Sudan), LLB ( Burundi), Elman ( Somalia).
Group C: Azam (Tanzania), Malakia ( Sudan Kusini), KCC ( Uganda), Adama City ( Ethiopia)