Gor Mahia may not have won the deciding Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against Ulinzi Stars by a voluminous margin at the weekend but the gap in which the Green Army had bridged over their closest challengers spoke volumes of a side that was thirsting for a record 16th gong.
Despite a narrow 1-0 win over Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium Sunday; Gor reclaimed the title which they had controversially relinquished to Tusker last year.
The weekend victory took K’Ogalo’s points tally to 66, 18 clear of second-placed Sofapaka whose ceiling is 60 points should they win four of their remaining fixtures.
Several factors have come into the fore in regard to the enviable success by Gor who are now Kenya’s official representatives in the 2018 Africa Champions League.
First, the hiring of Brazilian Jose “Marcelo” Ferreira seemed to have instilled a winning mentality on the players who had suffered the heartbreak of losing the title to Tusker a season earlier.
Ferreira, an accomplished Brazilian tactician, was reputed as a hands-on manager who was results-oriented and once after being contracted by Gor, the desired results started trickling in especially after the tactician recommended the signing of expatriate quality players like Rwandan Jacques Tuyiosenge and Jean Baptise Mugiraneza.
It thus came as no surprise when Marcelo was named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of March 2017 after guiding the multiple Kenyan champions to league victories against Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo Kericho only few months in the job.
Ferreira’s star as Gor coach was on the rise as he beat Bandari’s Paul Nkata and Bernard Mwalala of Nzoia Sugar who emerged second and third respectively in the awards.
All this while, Ferreira said praised the players over what he described as keeping the philosophy of winning.
“My players know my philosophy: to win every match and for this I dedicate the award to them for the good job they did. In the two games we played in, they were excellent because we faced tough teams in Sharks and Zoo,” said Ferreira then.
Despite Ferreira resigning from his position a couple of months later, the players still kept the candle aglow with his successor Dylan Kerr taking up the legacy and in the process helping the team scale the ladder from the fifth position in the league.