Nairobi, Tuesday @PeopleSports11
SportPesa Premier League giants Gor Mahia will send a depleted squad to the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup which will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, next month.
K’Ogalo will be without 10 of their key players, who have been forced out of the eight-team tournament owing to international duties. The tournament will take place from June 5-11 with lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge topping list of absentees that also include Rwandan international team-mate Jean Baptiste-Mugiraneza, Burundian international Karim Nizigiyimana and Ugandan auxiliary winger Godfrey Walusimbi.
Others are skipper Musa Mohammed, custodian Boniface Oluoch, centre- half Harun Shakava, midfielders Ernest Wendo and Kenneth Muguna as well as attacker Timothy Otieno, all of whom have earned call-ups to the national team Harambee Stars.
The absence of the 10 may undermine K’Ogalo’s quest for another piece of silverware. It however, grants a chance to the fringe players, who have found playing time hard to come by to rise and claim their place in the team.
Head coach Jose “Ze Maria” Marcelo and his Brazilian assistant Marcos Aurelo will also not board the plane to the Tanzanian capital as they are already in Brazil for holiday with club legend and deputy coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno handling the team assisted by goalkeeping coach Willis Ochieng instead.
Team manager Jolawi Obondo says K’Ogalo are itching to rumble and will invoke the spirits of the legendary Mahia, the medicine man from Kanyamwa, Homa Bay county, whom the team is named after in order to do well. “Gor Mahia has a big name, .We did well in Cecafa (in 2015), and so we have to do well again.
We will invoke the spirit of Mahia to do well,” he said, adding: “The boys are fired up and we will put our best foot forward.” Eight teams; four from Kenya and an equal number from Tanzania will participate in the tournament.
Kenya will be represented by defending league champions Tusker, Gor, AFC Leopards and Nakuru All Stars while Singida United, Jang’ombe Boys of Zanzibar, Simba and Yanga will represent Tanzania.
K’Ogalo will jet out on June 1 with Leopards crossing swords with Singida on June 5. Tusker will also be in action the same day against Yanga. All matches will be staged at the 20,000 seater Uhuru Stadium in Dar with the winning team pocketing Sh 3 million. -GOAL