Football Football

Gor Mahia’s coronation set for November 18

Gor Mahia players celebrating with the Kenyan Premier League trophy in 2015, the last time they won it. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Gor Mahia will officially be handed their 2017 Kenyan Premier League title on the last day of the season, November 18, when they play Sony Sugar at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The club and the Kenyan Premier League have confirmed that all logistical arrangements will be done to ensure the process is smooth, even as it emerged that plans to have the ceremony done at the bigger Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi did not bear fruit.

“We will have made all the necessary arrangements and since we only had two options, we settled for Kisumu,” Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier told Capital Sport.

K’Ogalo confirmed their status as league champions for the 16th time with their 1-0 win over Ulinzi Stars on October 21, ensuring they wrapped up the title with four matches left.

“It has been a tough season and definitely we are excited that we could wrap up the title after missing it last season. Everyone has worked hard to get this achievement,” Rachier further commented.

Even with the league title wrapped up, head coach Dylan Kerr has urged his players to ensure they keep the flame burning to the final day, demanding a 12-point haul in the remaining four fixtures of the season.

The coach has also hinted that he might hand playing opportunities to players who have found it tough getting action in the previous matches.

“I am an ambitious coach and though we have the league in our hands now, we need to chase other records. I need 12 points from these remaining four games. I want us to win the league by the highest points tally ever and also the biggest difference to the second team,” Kerr told Capital Sport.

Gor Mahia fans with a banner commemorating their KPL title in 2013

“These players need to make history for themselves and their families and that is what drives us in the remaining four matches,” the coach added.

Already, the club has started putting into thought next year’s CAF Champions League, with their target being a group stage appearance – the first for the 1987 Mandela Cup champions – since 1993 when they reached the quarter finals of the CAF Cup.

Rachier has admitted the club needs to inject some good finance into their preparation, also pointing out they need to get into pre-season training early to ensure they are physically ready when the tournament starts in February with the preliminary round.

“It requires heavy investment and we really need to gather our finances and ensure we are well able to sustain the team. We are not favoured by our calendar because most teams play CAF Competitions with their leagues ongoing but for us, we are just starting the season,”

“We need to come up with a very good way which will ensure that our players have enough rest but at the same time, ensure we start pre-season training early,” Rachier said.

At the same time, Rachier has confirmed they are working round the clock to ensure six out of contract players extend their stay at the club.

The six are defenders Godfrey Walusimbi, Harun Shakava and Musa Mohammed, midfielder Ernest Wendo as well as forwards Jack Tuyisenge and Timothy Otieno.

Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge celebrating after scoring in a past KPL match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Already, Tuyisenge has expressed interest to stay at the club.

“We are taking to them though we are yet to make agreements. The biggest thing is money and we need to agree on that important aspect. But I am confident that we will be able to agree on terms,” the club chair said.

Also, he has disclosed to Capital Sport the club is working to rope in six new players; two youngsters from high school, two from clubs within the country and a further two ‘very experienced’ players.

“I am talking to them now though nothing concrete, but primarily we need to bring in six new players and retain most of the ones we have,” the club boss further said.