Former Nigerian national team coach Samson Siasia is among coaches who have applied for the vacant Gor Mahia job even as the record Kenyan champions brace for a tough CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg clash against Malawi champions Nyasa Bullets at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday.
Siasia, 51, led Nigeria U-23 at the 2008 and 2016 Summer Olympics winning silver and bronze medals respectively. He also clinched the African Youth Championship with the U-20 side in 2005 among some of his career highlights.
By Friday afternoon, 48 coaches had tendered in their CVs eyeing the post that fell vacant after the resignation of Briton Dylan Kerr, who has since joined South African top-tier outfit Black Leopards.
In a shocking turn of events, there’s no Kenyan coach who has officially applied for the job even as hopes for assistant coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno to be handed the job on a permanent basis dwindle.
Rwandese Olivier Karekezi, Portuguese Rui Nascimento, Italian Giovanni Petraglia, Serbians Goran Kopunovic, Dragon Popadic and Zlatko Krmpotic – the latter formerly at TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Zesco United of Zambia – have all sent their applications.
Former AFC Leopards coach, Belgian Luc Eymael and current Rayon Sports’ Brazilian tactician Roberto Oliveira had been tagged as favourites before Eymael bolted out of the race to join Egyptian side El Geish SC.
As the search for a head coach continues, the 17-time SportPesa Premier League (SPL) have put Zico temporarily in charge.
“We are still sieving through the CVs till next week when we shall call for a sitting to zero down on what we have,” Gor Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lordvick Aduda toldNation Sport on Friday.
Gor has posted success with coaches from the United Kingdom in recent times, notably, Bobby Williamson in 2013 to Frank Nuttall and recently Kerr, a factor Aduda alluded will be considered during the vetting process.
“We want someone who will take Gor Mahia to the next level and have an impact in the Champions League, he has to understand African football,” he offered.
Meanwhile, the team continued with their preparations for Wednesday’s match with a double training session at Camp Toyoyo grounds, a day after the club cleared the Sh340,000 debt that had seen them locked out of the facility for weeks.
Their opponents Nyasa Bullets were slated to play Chitipa United in the quarter-finals of Malawi FISD Challenge Cup on Friday at Kamuzu Stadium.
Malawian portal, Nyasa Times, reported on Thursday that the country’s most popular club, through their CEO Fleetwood Haiya, had asked the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to reschedule the fixture as it would put them at a disadvantage before flying to play Gor.
FAM, however, disputed the complaint through media manager Gomezgani Zakazaka.
Another Malawi side, Silver Strikers had their Challenge Cup match postponed to allow them time to travel to Gabon. They made a stopover in Nairobi to play Tusker in friendly on Friday.