Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, the immediate former Posta Rangers coach has joined the Gor Mahia technical bench as Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira’s assistant.
Otieno, nicknamed ‘Zico’ after Brazilian great Arthur Antunes ‘Zico’ Coimbra has already began to work at the club he coached in 2011.
The former Kenyan international replaces Tom Ogweno who was relieved of his duties alongside keeper trainer Mathews Ottamax after falling out with head coach Ferreira. Willis Ochieng, another former Kenyan international will join the bench as goalkeeper trainer.
“Zico has been with the club before and he knows it inside out. He has a lot of experience having worked both as a national team coach and with other clubs in the country. We had a number of people who had shown interest in the job but for us, Zico was the best,” Ambrose Rachier, the Gor Mahia chairman explained.
He also added Otieno’s knowledge of the Kenyan league and players will be vital for Ze Maria. He is confident that the combination of the two will lead to Gor reclaiming the Kenyan Premier League title from Tusker FC.
“We have strengthened the playing unit and now that we have strengthened the technical bench, I have no doubt that we stand a good chance of making it as the league champions. The coach needed people who he was comfortable working with and we obliged,” Rachier stated.
Otieno will join the technical bench that has Brazilian Marcos Aurellio as one of the assistants while Italian Sandro Fantoni is the fitness trainer.
Ze Maria confident
Gor hasn’t been as convincing in their pre-season despite beefing up the squad with hugely talented players. Ze Maria is confident that despite the club failing to please the fans with pre-season results.
“Pre-season friendly matches are always not very competitive. Sometimes, it is just about looking for the right combinations. So I am not worried and the fans should not be worried as well,” Ze Maria said after the side labored to a 2-1 win over National Super League side Wazito FC in a friendly match last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ogweno has since joined Nairobi City Stars as assistant coach, although he is yet to finalize talks with the club. City Stars had earlier appointed former Ulinzi Stars boss Robert Matano as their head coach.
The two also worked together during Matano’s stint at Tusker FC in 2012. “It is a strong technical bench because they are people who have succeeded in this country. I am confident they can put together a strong team for us to get back into the Premier League next season,” Peter Jabuya, the Nairobi City Stars chairman said.
Matano was at the club in 2006 and guided them to the CAF Confederations Cup where they were eliminated in the preliminary round. Dennis ‘Wise’ Okoth who had been holding forte from last season will now be in charge of the club’s junior team.
Jabuya has confirmed that pending availability of finances, they will enter the team to the Nairobi County League.