Zico return a boon for Gor, club official stresses
Gor Mahia Secretary General, Ronald Ngala, insisted on Monday that the return of Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno will be a welcome boost to the 15-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions as they seek to challenge for major silverware this season.
The club caused a stir when they appointed Otieno, who led them to finish second in the 2010 KPL as an assistant to Brazilian boss Jose ‘Ze Maria’ Marcelo Ferreira ahead of the new season.
However, Ngala maintains Otieno’s wide knowledge in local football made him the ideal candidate to fill in the void left by Tom Ogweno who joined Nairobi City Stars as head coach from Gor.
Ngala is positive that the former Posta Rangers and Sony Sugar tactician would form a formidable team with Brazilian pair, head coach Ze Maria and fellow assistant Marco Aurelio in their bid to reclaim the KPL title they lost to Tusker FC last season.
“Last year was unsuccessful year for Gor since we ended the season trophy less. After coming together, we felt that bolstering our technical bench through the appointment of a new assistant coach who has a lot of experience in the KPL would help us to break the jinx of last year,” Ngala told.
Otieno lost the KPL title to Ulinzi Stars on the last day of the 2010 KPL after a storming second half of the season brought Gor to within three points of the title winners at the end of the campaign.
He was soon relieved of his duties the following term after unrest in the stands and replaced by Cameroon national, Anaba Awono who also did not last long at Gor.
At the same time, self-styled Gor number one fan, Jared Otieno also known as Jaro Soja called on Otieno to bury the hatchet with those who forced him out of the team and work closely with his Brazilian boss to win back the KPL trophy they held for three years in a row before Tusker beat them to the crown last season.
“Frankly it was so painful last year to end the league without a single trophy. It’s something we don’t want to see happening again,” Soja said.
“You know that the fans had problems with Zico. There were rumors that he was influenced in the manner he fielded players. I’m sure this won’t happen again. We expect him to bring fresh ideas that will bring a change to our squad,” the fan leader added.
Before their 2013 KPL triumph, the returning Otieno was the last K’Ogalo captain to lift the national title when he led the 1995 squad to the crown.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji
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