Gor take on Burundi’s Aigle Noir in crucial tie
Steven George Polack hopes to get a winning start at Gor Mahia when the record Kenyan champions battle Burundi’s Aigle Noir CS in the first leg of CAF Champions League preliminary round at Urukundo Stadium, Ngozi, today.
The 58-year-old English-Finnish tactician was unveiled on Thursday in Nairobi after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Hassan Oktay.
Just like Polack, Kenyan international Kenneth Muguna will also be aiming to begin his captaincy at Gor on a positive note.
Muguna is expected to wear the armband after succeeding Harun Shakava, who moved to Zambian giants Nkana a few weeks ago.
While Oktay led K’Ogalo to their 18th unprecedented Kenyan Premier League title and historic Confederation Cup quarter-finals last season, Polack guided Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko to the group stages of the second-tier competition of African club football.
The winner on aggregate, in a fortnight time, will battle with either USM Alger of Algeria or Niger’s SONIDEP in the next round.
Though Polack put on a brave face as he explained his past experiences, the former Bertekum Chelsea coach said he knows something about the Burundian side thanks to video analysis.
“I have already seen a few highlights of the Burundian side. So, I have an idea of who they are. I have had a few training sessions with the team and it’s my hope that we will get it right,” said Polack.
“But remember, this is not the first time I am coming right on the job. This is something that I have done before and I am used to it.
“Of course, it will not be easy, but I would like to be always number one in everything I do. Hopefully, we will be very competitive and by God’s blessings we will bring victory back home.”
Even though Polack will have to do without seven key players due to various reasons, he insisted that his mission is to restore Gor Mahia’s lost glory at the continental level.
The trio of Ghanaian Francis Afriyie, Ivorian Gislein Yikpe and Maurice Ojwang have been ruled out due to late registration while Dennis Oliech, Curtis Wekesa and Philemon Otieno are nursing injuries. Defensive midfielder Ernest Wendo is still on suspension.
“Everywhere I have gone especially in Africa, I have left a mark to remind people that I was there. Some clubs have even gone ahead to call me to go back there again which is a great honour. That’s why I believe I will leave a mark on this great club when my time to leave reaches,’’ he said.
“Gor Mahia have won everything locally and what is remaining is to conquer Africa. I am here to do that with them.”
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