Ze Maria in town to give waning Gor the Samba groove

New Gor Mahia head coach and retired Brazilian international, Ze Maria (left) is received at ...
New Gor Mahia head coach and retired Brazilian international, Ze Maria (left) is received at Nairobi's JKIA by club's deputy organising secretary, David Kilo on Monday, March 14, 2016. PHOTO/AbdiRizack

Former Brazil international, José Marcelo Ferreira commonly known as Ze Maria landed in the country on Monday to take the reins at the waning SportPesa Premier League champions, Gor Mahia FC.

Ze Maria, the retired right back who earned 25 caps for the Selecao between 1996 and 2001 will be formally unveiled by the club on Tuesday on an initial two-year deal and has just under a fortnight to bed in with his new team before the top flight resumes after the international break.

“I took the job because this team are the champions. I’m here to do my best and try to win again, the championship this is my target for the year,” Ze Maria who’s last coaching job was at Romanian side Fotbal Club Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț, said after touching down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

He was however, quick to temper expectations he will have the side playing the famed Jogo Bonito or Samba football the Brazilian team of his era was famed for.

“I have to know the player and after that, I shall decide which the best tactics to use is,” the 1996 Olympics bronze medallist, FIFA Confederations Cup and Copa America winner with the Selecao added.

Gor were pushed back to 12th in the SPL log with four points after surrendering a 2-1 lead to draw 2-2 with Nairobi City Stars on Saturday, seven points adrift of table topping Mathare United after five rounds of the new season.

The all conquering side of last season that won the league for a third season in a row unbeaten is yet to register a win this term, drawing four and losing one of their games.

Ze Maria succeeds Scottish national, Frank Nutall who quit the club last week and was followed suit by his deputy, Frank Ouna who threw in the towel after the City Stars draw where he took charge of the team.

Gor’s deputy organizing secretary, David Kilo who on hand to receive the new club boss said they selected Ze Maria after he presented a formal request later to hold the vacant position left by Nuttal.

“I’m hopeful he will have a good season at the club,” he added.

Besides the Nutall and Ouna, K’Ogalo have also lost their top scorers from last season, Michael Olunga and former Rwandese international, Meddie Kagere who left for clubs in Sweden and Rwanda as well as key midfielder, Ali Abondo who is in South Africa.

City Stars boss and club legend, John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla who was Nutall’s assistant was the first cog in the unbeaten run to exit the club soon after they sealed their record 15th league title.

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Story By Abdi Rizack
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