Despite the presence of Turkish Hassan Oktay at the MISC Kasarani on Sunday 2 December in the KPL Super Cup tie against Kariobangi Sharks, Gor Mahia is yet to settle on a coach who will replace Briton Dylan Kerr who left at the end of last season.
According to the clubs Chairman Mr Ambrose Rachier, they have trimmed the list of those who applied for the position to four with Oktay being among those shortlisted.
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“We have one from Italy, another from Russia, another one from Poland and Oktay is the first one we are interviewing. We haven't settled on anyone yet,” Rachier said.
Tasked to outline the criteria they used in arriving at the four despite Oktay having no experience in Africa, a must have quality that he had mentioned in his earlier interviews, Rachier said his ability to work in different environments and his ability to communicate well in English handed him a chance.
“We are looking for language first, because communication is key. We went for experience and age too. We had an applicant as young as 34 but we wanted someone with the needed experience. He’s got a lot of experience particularly coaching at Westham for example. He has won the league in Thailand outside his jurisdiction and he speaks very good English although he’s Turkish and has worked at a Premier League team as an assistant coach,” Rachier added.
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On the remaining three, Rachier said: “The one from Poland, was last year the coach of Asante Kotoko and has taken the championship twice. The one from Italy, has been in DR Congo and has coached TP Mazembe winning the league title back in 2011/12. The one from Russia has worked in South Africa and those stints give them an edge over the others who had applied.”
Cost is another factor that the team's appointing committee will use to come up with the final name for the job with a horde of good coaches missing out on the shortlist because of the monies that they had asked for.
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“There were very qualified German coaches who had applied for the job but they asked for too much money that we can’t afford. We have had even applicants for national teams from European countries but we can’t afford them so we had to settle for the once we had settled on,” he added.
As that tedious process continues, stand in coach Zedekiah Otieno has overseen two games with the former Posta Rangers man recording a win and a loss. He is expected to take charge of his third game this Tuesday 4 when K'Ogallo travel away to Malawi for the return-leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round tie against Nyasa Big Bullets.
Gor lead the game 1-0 thanks to a late Bernard Ondiek strike in the first-leg in Nairobi.