25, June 2023, will forever remain a moment of immortality to the Gor Mahia fraternity after the club finally lifted the 2022-23 FKF-PL trophy which had been elusive for the preceding two seasons.
But how did the record 20 league champions manage to pull this off despite a ton of issues at the club? How did the club dethrone the mighty Tusker FC from dominating the FKF-PL league?
Here is the secret to their incredible title-winning campaign.
APPOINTING A COACH WHO IS A SERIAL WINNER
On July 29, 2022, Gor Mahia appointed Irish Jonathan McKinstry as the new coach on a two-year contract.
He had the perfect track record and seemed perfect for Gor Mahia’s project. He had previously revolutionized the Uganda Cranes and Rwanda national teams.
“We are pleased to announce Jonathan McKinstry as our new coach,” club chairman Ambrose Rachier confirmed while unveiling the tactician.
THE FIFA BAN
In the 2020-21, 2021-22, and the first leg of the 2022-23 seasons, Gor Mahia had been serving a FIFA ban from making transfers after their acrimonious termination of contracts to their former foreign players.
In light of the same, they were forced to turn to their youth setup in the last two transfer windows whenever they had a gap to fill in the main team or whenever they were looking for fresh players to inject quality into their team.
This in hindsight galvanized the squad. The young players incorporated fully complimented a high-octane brand of football that the gaffer demanded.
Over the past few seasons, the club has been grappling with financial hitches. The three-year sponsorship deal was worth 240 million Kshs with Sportpesa. It helped with the wages of the players which in hindsight improved the players’ performances.
“They have been the best sponsors we’ve had since 1968 when the club was formed. We’ve gone to Britain to play Everton and Hull City courtesy of Sportpesa.” Said the club’s chairman, Ambrose Rachier during the unveiling.
THE SUPPORTIVE FAN BASE
Gor Mahia fans were very supportive by attending matches and making their voices heard.
Gor Mahia’s captain, Philemon Otieno had this to say about their fans.
“I want to thank all our fans all around the world for their unconditional love and support. It really means a lot to the team,” he told the club media.
BENSON OMALLA’S LETHAL GOAL-SCORING FORM
With the departure of Congolese, Sando Sando Yangayay and Samuel Onyango and the club not in a position to recruit players due to a FIFA-imposed transfer ban, Omala was left as the main man upfront for K’Ogalo.
“I am looking forward to the start of the new season, we have prepared well and I think we are ready for the new campaign. As an individual, I have set a target of 15-20 goals, this is a target that I believe with the help of my teammates I will achieve,” he said before the start of the 2022-23 season.
Little did he know that he would help the club to clinch its 20th league title. He finished the season with 26 goals, a goal sigh of the Golden Boot winner- Elvis Rupia, from Police FC.
It is undoubtedly that the above ingredients were key to Gor Mahia achieving the feet.
We say CONGRATULATIONS Gor Mahia.