Gor have ‘no problem’ with Gattuso ahead of KPL charge
Record Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, Gor Mahia FC have denied having disciplinary issues with star midfielder, Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth as they prepare to launch their 2017 season with a testing clash against Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday.
Reports claimed the combative midfielder who is a Green Army favourite had been summoned by the club to explain why he was skipping training but Team Manager Jolawi Obondo refuted the allegations.
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“We have no problem with him or any other player,” Obondo told Citizen Digital on Friday as they prepare to launch a bid to reclaim the KPL crown they surrendered to Tusker FC last season after holding on to the trophy in the preceding three seasons.
Obondo maintained they only had problem with the player mid last season which resulted to his suspension but the issues had since been resolved and the Harambee Stars international fully integrated back to the squad.
“That we have summoned Okoth for any disciplinary cause is just a rumour since at the moment, we are in good terms with him,” Obondo added.
Club Vice-chairman, John Dache Pesa corroborated his fellow official’s assertion charging he was hearing the reports for the first time.
Turning to their tricky start to their campaign against the team that finished second in the National Super League (NSL) last year, Obondo noted Kariobangi Sharks will a good test of their credentials as they seek to stretch their KPL record to 16 in November.
Gor take on Sharks at Thika County Stadium in a double header that will be preceded by home side Thika United welcoming 2008 KPL champions, Mathare United on Sunday.
“We will gauge our new signings and the rest of the squad to establish whether we have the strength to reclaim our title from Tusker FC,” Obondo stressed.
Among the news signings Gor captured in the close season was 2016 KPL Player of the Year, Kenneth Muguna who is said to be giving established midfielders at K’Ogalo including Gatuso serious competition for a starting place.
“We have prepared well and long enough for the league and the players had come to terms with the long wait before the league kick off,” the team manager underscored.
Besides Muguna, Gor have also signed among others Rwandese international Jean Batiste Mugiraneza who joins compatriots and forwards Meddie Kagere and Jacques Tuyisenge.
Another striker, Timothy Otieno returned to the club after a successful loan spell at Posta Ranger as K’Ogalo seek the firepower that deserted them last term as Tusker overhauled them to the crown.
Already, the team has tasted silverware after a barren 2016 when they beat Tusker 1-0 last Sunday at the KPL Super Cup in Nakuru where Tuyisenge notched a second half winner from the spot in a match they dominated from start to finish.
Former head coach, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno also returned to the dugout as an assistant to Brazilian boss Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira from Rangers whom he led to a top eight KPL finish last term.