Pamzo named Coach of the Month for April
Posta Rangers Head Coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo has been named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for April.
Over that month, Pamzo led Rangers to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) victories over Western Stima, Mathare United, Kariobangi Sharks and Sony Sugar.
A possibly perfect run was only blighted by draws against Kakamega Homeboyz and AFC Leopards. During that remarkable phase, Rangers occupied top spot standings and only relinquished their position to Gor Mahia FC following two successive draws in the latest KPL rounds.
Pamzo who only joined the Rangers this term received Ksh75,000 in prize money as well as a trophy for his April heroics.
Having joined Rangers this season, he has helped transform the club into potential title contenders and will attempt to stand between Gor Mahia’s quest for an unprecedented 16th title.
Having previously won the title with Tusker FC, he brings a wealth of experience and currently sits only three points adrift leaders Gor after 11 KPL rounds.
For Gor, their bid gained further momentum over the weekend when they picked a third successive win at the Mumias Complex. They claimed a 1-0 win over Nzoia Sugar to topple Pamzo’s Rangers off the summit.
AFC Leopards who began the season with a steady rhythm have dragged back with their latest 1-1 draw and a scuffle between winger Allan Kateregga and striker Gilbert Fiamenyo highlighting their woes.
The duo have arguably been two of their finest players this season and came off the bench to earn a point for Stewart Hall’s men in the dying minutes.
Posta Rangers is still unbeaten, while for bottom ranked sides Thika United and Mathare United, the downward trajectory is threatening to sink deeper.
In a season where clubs are playing up to three matches a week, any title hopeful side without a strong bench is quite disadvantaged. Such is Ingwe, whose bench has the likes of Harun Nyakha, Marcelus Ingotsi and Ibrahim Mao among others.
“We have to play with who we have. We also have got to cope with the many matches that we are playing within a short span, which is affecting us in injury management and recovery plan.
“All teams are facing it but it affects you most when you don’t some dependable players available,” Leopards Coach Hall told journalists earlier in the season.
On Sunday, his assistant Dennis Kitambi revealed why influential attackers Fiamenyo and Kateregga had to start on the bench, a factor that ultimately cost them extra points.
“Those who saw the incident during our match against Sony know there was fracas between the two so the decision to bench them was a disciplinary measure,” Kitambi said.
In their absence, Paul Kiongera and Whyvonne Isuza were charged to lead the attack. While Kiongera has more often showed the willingness to make runs across goal and stick up front, Isuza is hardly a natural forward.
The situation at the end is a contrast of what Gor enjoy, with Head Coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira attributing bench power to an impressive run that has seen them amass eight wins thus far.
“I have 30 players who are all important in this campaign. At some stage you have to interchange players not because they are not performing but because it is about teamwork,” the Brazilian told Citizen Digital after their 2-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Thika during their previous round.
With players of Rwandese captain cadre Jaques Tuyisenge, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, Francis Kahata, Innocent Wafula, Oliver Maloba among others playing second fiddle in the team, the 15-time champions can manage an efficient rotational policy.
“Nzoia were very tough because they have a very good young team and run a lot. Most of my players played against Chemelil on Wednesday so it was very tough maintaining the same level of performance for 90 minutes, but what I saw today was a warriors’ performance. They fought for each ball and everything on the pitch.
“When you want to win the league sometimes you have to play like we did today. We showed great character. Pressure at Gor Mahia is normal because it’s the biggest team in Kenya and we have to win for the fans, the media and ourselves,” Ze Maria charged after the victory.
Newly installed Thika United Coach Nicholus Muyoti has not found winning formula with his team since taking over from James Nandwa.
He made seven changes in the team that played Kakamega Homeboyz in the weekend’s barren stalemate, having led them in a defeat against Nakumatt in the midweek. The move did not stop their woes.
They have picked up only seven points out of the possible 33 and in the process let in 16 goals this season. Theirs is a run that will see the ‘relegation candidates’ tag hung around their necks in no time.
Despite starting slowly, holders Tusker are just four points shy of the table toppers Gor. Coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe has lauded his charges for what he calls positive attitude, in the wake of weekend’s win over Sony Sugar.
“The boys have really earned it, coming from Kericho to play this game. It has not been easy. It’s all down to the commitment and a positive attitude they are now showing on the field, putting behind the mess we saw at the start of the season,” Nsimbe underscored.
Meanwhile, Kariobangi Sharks continued their superb form beating Bandari at home, as Ulinzi Stars sank resilient Muhoroni Youth to firmly occupy fifth and third positions respectively.
For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel
Video Of The Day: Different journeys, same destiny: The story of top two candidates | KCSE 2020 |