NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – “What I have seen, it’s a nice town, lots to be seen but I am not here on holiday I am here to work, 120pc.”
Those were the opening words of new Gor Mahia head coach Steven Polack after he was formally unveiled as the man to take over Hassan Oktay’s position with the former Asante Kotoko boss promising to make Gor an even better club.
“This is a big club and hopefully we can improve it even more. They have done really well most of the past years and there are just a few things to change. Hopefully they will be good to help the team move forward. I am looking forward to the challenge and I am on fire,” The Englishman who also bears Finiish citizenship stated.
Polack has admitted he was hugely interested in the Gor Mahia job and has tried to apply twice without success, but is glad that he was finally picked up. Gor fished his name out of their archives having come third in the run up to Oktay’s appointment last year.
He says he is pleased to join the club and has warned the players that he is in to demand a lot of work from them and he hopes they can quickly grasp his playing philosophy.
“Work ethic is a big thing for me. When I played I was a worker, and I heard that a team usually reflects the coach. Discipline is also huge for me. The players have to show commitment and desire with good attitude. You have to play for the club, the supporters and you have to be ready to learn. I want us to play possession football. That is why it is called FOOT BALL…. Not AIR BALL,” added the tactician.
He will be thrown straight into the deep end, the team travelling on Friday evening to Burundi where they begin their CAF Champions League campaign against home side Aigle Noir on Sunday evening.
He has admitted that he has already been scouting their opponents and is confident they can get a good result in the first leg and finish off the game at home to progress to the second round of qualification to the group stages.
“I have seen some highlights of the team. I know how they are and how they play. Can we beat them? On paper, yes. But on the pitch, it will be different. I have maybe two sessions to look at the team but I am not worried. This is not the first time that it has happened for me,”
“At the same time, it is not easy. But I am here to do my best. I like to be number one. We have to be competitive and I believe we will be on Sunday to win the game and finish off in the return leg in two weeks’ time,” added the coach.
Polack has signed an initial two-year deal with the club and has promised to create good memories with K’Ogalo, Kenya’s most successful football club.
Meanwhile, the club also unveiled new players, among them Ivorian Gnamien Yikpe and Francis Afriyie. Most of the other players they have gone for are youthful.
However, the two foreigners as well as defender Maurice Ojwang signed from Western Stima will not be available for their Champions League campaign as they arrived after the CAF window had closed. They will only be available to play if Gor goes past the qualification rounds.