After the 16th title, Gor must build for continental onslaught

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That Gor Mahia was going to be the dominant force in the Kenyan Premier League was never in doubt from the start of the 2017 season.

They confirmed that status on Saturday, beating Ulinzi Stars to win their 16th league title, a befitting success as they move towards marking their 50th anniversary early next year.

With 66 points, Gor has lifted the league title with five games to spare leaving the chasing pack to fight for the runners up position.

But while the green army will be celebrating this success, the tough part is now about to start.

Gor Mahia will be representing the country next season in the Africa Champions League, a competition they have struggled over the years to reach the penultimate stages.

In the last five years, Gor Mahia has won the league title four times now, they have participated in the Africa Champions League thrice and the most they have come out with is a certificate of participation.

“I am happy with the way we have worked hard and won the league title,” Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr who came in in June to take over from Brazillian Jose Marcello Ferreira “Ze Maria” who walked out on the club.

“Now, we must set our sights on not only retaining it next year but also perform well in the Champions League. With the kind of quality of the players under me, we are now focused to win the continental title next season,” he added.

That may be a long shot, but Kerr believes Gor Mahia can do it.

However to achieve that, Gor Mahia will have to add more quality players to its stable and offload those who have proved they cannot match the standards required.

Club president Ambrose Rachier is alive to the fact that for Gor to leave a mark at the continental level, they will have to reinforce the squad.

“We do have a good team, very disciplined players and that is why we have been able to win the league. Our task is now to ensure we retain the quality players and also bring in a few. We will sit down with the coaching staff later and identify key areas to be reinforced,” said Rachier.

Rachier’s biggest headache will be to convince his two key players upfront-Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere to sign new contracts. The two have scored 23 goals for the club in this campaign, Kegere scoring the winner against Ulinzi that ultimately handed K’Ogalo the title while Tuyisenge scoring a hat trick in the previous game against Kariobangi Sharks.

The two are being linked with a return home to Rwanda with APR keen to sign them. However they look content to stay at Gor Mahia.

Gor already has filled the five foreign slots but they may be looking to offload Rwanda midfielder Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza who has failed to win a starting role in the midfield.

 

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