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Ze Maria slowed down my season, says Kagere

Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere glides away celebrating the equalizer against AFC Leopards during the Mashemeji Derby at Nyayo Stadium on August 27, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, KENYA, Dec 20- Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere has disclosed that personal differences between him and former coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira aka Ze Maria slowed down his season, pointing out he would have performed much better had things been different.

Kagere re-joined Gor in June last year at a time when Ze Maria had just sanctioned the signing of fellow Brazilian Thiago Lima da Silva with a huge section of fans and club officials also advocating for Kagere’s return having spent six months away.

Eventually, Kagere was signed as da Silva was said to be way out of achieving the required fitness and sharpness levels, and Kagere says this was the genesis of his tribulation at the club, trickling down into the start of the 2017 season.

“We didn’t have good agreement with the coach because he wanted player he brought to play. It was always a problem. He put me out saying I can’t play with Tuyisenge (Jacques) and I ended up playing very few matches. By the time he though he needed me, the season was already gone and the other players were ahead of me,” Kagere, winner of the league title with Gor in 2015 said.

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr shares words with striker Meddie Kagere during a training session at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on September 7, 2017.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOULU

In contrast, Kagere has heaped praise on Briton Dylan Kerr who he said believed in him and gave him the confidence to play better, finishing the season with 14 goals and four assists.

“When the new coach came, he told me ‘I have heard about you, I have seen you and I know what you can do’ and that kept pushing me. When a coach tells you that, you have to work hard to prove him right,” Kagere further explained.

The Ugandan-born Rwandese was on Monday night named the KPL player of the year by the Sports Journalists of Kenya and says it was a fruit of hard work and determination which trails back to the start of the season.

He came close to bagging the award in 2015 but was edged out closely by former teammate Michael Olunga now playing in the Spanish La Liga with FC Girona.

I expected this award to be mine in 2015 because I think I performed better. I had more goals and more assists but then it had to wait till this year and I am proud because at the beginning of the year, I told myself I have to achieve something,” Kagere explained.

Kagere kising he trophy after being named the SJAK Most Valuable Player. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

His next target is to help the team do well in the CAF Champions League and they begin their campaign at home to Equatorial Guinea Champions Leones Vegetarianos Fútbol Club. A successful bid in the preliminary round books them a tough tie most probably against Esperance in the first round.

“There’s nothing impossible; it is all about our mentality, how we organize ourselves and our focus. I don’t know much about Equatorial Guinean teams but I know Esperance; they call them the Barcelona of Africa. We have to learn about how they play and know how to tackle them as soon as possible,” Kagere advised.