“They were a good team and made it hard for us to find our extra man in midfield. They can be proud of their performance and I want to give them a lot of compliments for making it so tough for us.”
If there is any endorsement one ever needed about the pedigree of Gor Mahia then the above comments by Everton boss Ronald Koeman sums up the whole deal.
Fifty years from now those who watched Gor Mahia play against the English Premier League side in Dar es Salaam last Thursday will be sitting under a tree or on a bar stool and they will relish the virtuoso performance by K’Ogalo.
Who can forget the superb defence of Godfrey Walusimbi and the rest of his toughies at the back who made sure the Toffees had a very tough afternoon?
Although Gor Mahia became kind of lacklustre in the second half, the lads had earned their stripes in the first half.
What is amazing is that when the Everton trip to Tanzania was announced, some British tabloid called Gor an “unknown” Kenyan side. I hope they changed their mind and writing after the match.
Further, I will not be surprised if some of the Gor Mahia boys get invited for trials with some English sides. That would be something well earned.
That Gor Mahia has a good team is in no doubt.
And it is my belief that we have many players in this country who can mount the kind of war of attrition Gor laid at Everton’s doorstep.
My challenge is to Nick Mwendwa and his colleagues at Football Kenya Federation to start the serious work of identifying and nurturing the abundant talent we have in this country.
It has been said time and again that the only way we can develop our football is by having operational youth centres where those youngsters identified would sharpen their skills even as they wait to get to bigger teams.
I have never believed for once that we cannot produce local players who can hold a candle to the giants like Nigeria and Cameroon among others.
Finally to Gor Mahia. We need to intensify training and have the boys gel as one huge squad of assassins.
With our new coach Dylan Kerr looking like he’s blended in well with the boys, we need to maintain the tempo and keep focused on winning the league.
To captain Ronald Karauri and all the good folks at SportPesa, all I can say is congratulations and thanks for giving Gor Mahia this exposure.
Now, we are demanding Arsenal. And I can assure you K’Ogalo will not disappoint.