As I pen down this second article this year, I want to pose a question; Where is the “Green Army”?
Last weekend when the season started, I attended Gor Mahia’s match against Nakumatt and to say the least, I was very disappointed.
The attendance was very poor, you could count the number of fans who were at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. I doubt if there were more than 100 fans.
Together with my good pal Tony Anelka we started a campaign to encourage fans to attend the African Champions League game against Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos and to some extent it worked, at least the 8,000-capacity stadium in Machakos was half full.
It was great seeing my friend George Odhiambo Bwana leading the cheering squad, Chief Shabana fan Kerubo Momanyi was also in attendance and so was Dennis Were who took his time off singing karaoke to attend the game.
But beyond that, the attendance was again disappointing. It is time we sent a rallying call to the Gor Mahia club fans who call themselves “Jotene” to return to the stadium.
Gor Mahia prides itself of having the biggest following in Kenya, It is thus disappointing when we have to use the social media to plead with fans to attend matches. Where are the travelling fans? Where is the “Green Army? Where is the passion?
In the meantime, I implore Gor Mahia office to market the club’s matches so as to attract more fans to the matches. It is from big attendances that the club can raise money from gate collection and at the same time attract corporate partnerships.
Away from attendance, I was delighted at the way Gor Mahia played their Champions League game. It was attractive football and we deserved to win the game by a bigger margin.
Coach Dylan Kerr is moulding a team that will continue to dominate the local level but he must now replicate that dominance at the international front.
It is now 30 years since we won the Africa Cup Winners Cup, it has been a long wait indeed since we beat Esperance to win the title. As we mark our 50th birthday this month, it will be great if we can crown this by winning the Africa Champions League.
Esperance will be our next opponents if we go past the side from Equatorial Guinea in the preliminary round and should we beat the North Africans, we will be in the money minting group stage, that is where a historied club like Gor Mahia belongs.
No Kenyan club has made it to the group stage of the Champions League and with Caf having expanded the number of teams to the group stage to 16, I think Gor Mahia can become the first Kenyan club to do so.
The challenge is on the players and the technical bench. But at the same time, the challenge is on the fans to go out and cheer the team. They are the 12th player!