K’Ogalo finally unveil Polack alongside 16 fresh faces ahead of CAF
Newly-hired Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack is not under any pressure to steer the 18-time SportPesa Premer League (SPL) champions to great heights.
Polack, who holds a dual citizenship of Polish and British and who has previously handled Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko and King Feisal, made the declaration during his unveiling at a Nairobi hotel yesterday even as he pointed out that his main goal is to make K’Ogalo a number one club both locally and internationally.
“I’m a firm believer in perfection among players and I want to assert that whoever I will field must justify the same whether youthful or otherwise if we are to make the club one of the dreaded in the continent.
Gor is a club with a rich history and attributes which must be safe guarded at all costs,” said Polack, who has replaced Hassan Oktay who resigned from the team due to pressing domestic issues.
“I tried to come to join this great team one year ago and I must acknowledge the trust bestowed to me by the management to handle it. I am not here on holiday but to deliver,” added Polack, who steered Kotoko to the CAF Confederation Cup group stage last season.
Outgoing Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier said the club had been head-hunting for a coach after the departure of Oktay and finally settled on Polack who has handled eight clubs in the Finnish League in the past two decades.
“He (Polack) has a rich Curriculum Vitae and has coached several big African clubs like Asante Kotoko hence the development. His predecessor (Oktay), who had asked for a five-day leave, officially handed to us his resignation letter last Tuesday after being overwhelmed by domestic issues and we had to move on as a club,” said Rachier.
Asked if there is any duress on the short period of handling the team and especially ahead of the club’s Africa Champions League first leg away match against Aigle Noir of Burundi in Bujumbura on Sunday, Polack answered in the negative.
“Pressure?, What pressure. We will waltz in Bujumbura hoping to get a positive result and make the return match in Nairobi a mere formality. Of course, there are a few grey areas which need rectification and I hope to make it on Friday and Saturday before the Sunday match comes calling,” said Polack.
Winners of the two-leg tie will face the winner between cash strapped USM Alger of Algeria and SONIDEP of Niger.
As Polack spoke, Gor unveiled 17 players most of who have been incorporated in a 25-member squad that has been submitted to Confederation of African Football (CAF) to feature in the Champions League.
New signings Gislain Yikpe Gnamien of Ivory Coast and Ghanaian Francis Afriyie headline the new comers in K’Ogalo’s CAF squad. The Ivorian has been handed jersey number nine while Afriyie will don 19.