‘Ze Maria’ beats Nkata to October coach of the month award

By alex wafula
Nov 15, 2021
  • Jose Marcelo Ferreira was named the SJAK Fidelity coach of the month of October.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Despite failing to battle Tusker FC and aid Gor Mahia to their 16th Kenyan Premier League title, Jose Marcelo Ferreira managed to put a silver lining to an otherwise tough end of the season after being crowned the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya,SJAK Fidelity Insurance coach of the month.

Ze Maria, as he is fondly referred to was picked ahead of Paul Nkata who aided Tusker to their 11th league title and John Baraza who has steered Sofapaka to a late relegation survival battle. The Brazilian received a unanimous vote from the SJAK football committee, becoming the second foreign coach to win the award after former AFC Leopards man Ivan Minnaert who won in April.

"I'm happy to get this award but it's for my players. They have played like champions in the past five matches and for that I dedicate the award to them. That is the spirit that I have tried to put into them, to fight in every match" Said the former Brazil international. In October, Ze Maria led Gor Mahia to two wins.

They picked up a crucial 2-1 victory over Mathare United before edging out arch rivals AFC Leopards 2-0.

A late equalizer from Western Stima though spoiled what would have been an otherwise perfect month as they went on to draw 2-2.

Nkata also managed to pick seven points in the run up to his side’s league victory, in the middle of winning the GOtv Shield.

The former Ugandan international raked up vital away wins in identical 1-0 results against Bandari and Sony Sugar in between a 1-1 draw with City Stars.

Baraza, in an attempt to pluck Sofapaka off the doldrums of relegation registered six points with wins over AFC Leopards and Muhoroni Youth.

Baraza helped Sofapaka survive the chop

The 1-0 loss to Sony though derailed what would have been an otherwise perfect turnaround for the former Kenyan international. Despite failing to defend the title, the Gor Mahia coach has warned his side will come out all guns blazing next season.

The Brazilian has hinted he will start preparation early for the new season. His side is expected to hand Tusker a guard of honor on Saturday when the two sides meet in the final game of the season.

"We can give a guard of honor to Tusker but we'll show them on the pitch that we are better. I feel sorry for my players for losing the title because of deducted points but we'll start working for next year very early. I want us to start 2017 on a high so as to wrap the title early."

The coach offered. Apart from the piece of silverware Ze Maria was also awarded a cash reward of Ksh.50,000.

Other past winners include Zedekiah Otieno of Posta Rangers, Francis Kimanzi of Mathare United, Salim Babu of Sony Sugar, Francis Baraza of Chemelil Sugar and Henry Omino of Western Stima won it twice.