Coach of the Month Ze Maria wants a consistent Gor
Gor Mahia Head Coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira asked his stars to add the missing ingredient of consistency to their title chase as the Brazilian was named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for March on Wednesday.
Ze Maria was unanimously voted by the Sports Journalist Association of Kenya (SJAK)to win the monthly accolade ahead of Bandari’s Paul Nkata and Bernard Mwalala who is in charge of newcomers Nzoia United.
He masterminded a 3-1 and 1-0 victories over Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo FC in their opening two fixtures of the season and his team now sits top of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) standings after five rounds.
The domestic giants have recovered from a 2-1 upset at Western Stima to record two straight wins against Kakamega Homeboyz and Sony Sugar, taking their points tally for the season to 12 points – one clear of second-placed Posta Rangers.
Ze Maria was awarded a glitzy trophy with his name engraved on it and took home a sum of Ksh75,000, Ksh25,000 more than last year’s cash award.
After receiving the award at his team’s training ground in Camp Toyoyo, he dedicated it to his players as well as the backroom staff saying that it was a reflection of their efforts in the past two months.
“This is solely what my players and fellow coaches did meaning that it is their job. I’m very happy because they did well but we have to continue this way. It’s important that we maintain our consistency,” he proclaimed.
He revealed that they have set high targets this season as they are aiming to win all three trophies available.
“My players know how many points they can lose this year so they know what our target is. Last year we had a good run whereby I was able to lead them all the way from the 13th position to second. This year we are leading after a good start and hopefully we can challenge for major honors,” he added.
Ze Maria noted new signings have had a significant impact to the teams good run in the Kenyan Premier League.
“This year we have a lot of good players. There is Kenneth Muguna last year’s best player and also someone like Jean Baptiste so we have a good mix between the new and old players. They will give us balance and that way am hopeful we can fight for anything this season, ”he underscored.
The last recipient of the monthly accolade was Bandari’s Paul Nkata who won it in November last year while at Tusker.
Former AFC Leopards tactician Ivan Minnaert was the first foreigner to win it after winning the 2016 March award.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji.
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