Polack: Otieno and Ochieng will be ‘new signings’ for Gor Mahia after injury recovery

The British tactician reveals to Goal the two players have shown great improvement and will play a big role in the brand new season

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has hailed the go back to fitness of two key defenders – Philemon Otieno and Wellington Ochieng.

Otieno injured his leg while turning out for Kenya’s Harambee Stars in the African Nations Champions (Chan) qualifying match against Tanzania, and had to endure surgery which kept him out of action for the better section of last season.

On the other hand, Ochieng picked up an injury during the initial phases of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season, against Mathare United, and despite trying to become popular again after feeling better, that he aggravated the injury and was also forced to go under the knife, thus missing most of the season.

The British coach has now told Goal the 2 players have recovered fully from their respective setbacks after a turbulent campaign and they will be of help once the new season kicks-off at the end of August.

“I am really happy to start to see the two boys [Otieno and Ochieng] straight back, they have really worked hard to return from the setbacks they suffered in early stages of last season but they have fully recovered now,” Polack told Goal on Tuesday.

“All the two players are fit now, for Otieno that he played a game title for us before the coronavirus pandemic, an agreeable where we gave him 45 minutes and that he came out unscathed, you could observe how he battled well to impress the bench in the build-up, he is very okay now.

“Let us see when we start training for the new season, and we check them again, the two will be our first signings, they will come back stronger and will fight to play for us, I think they will be our first signings as they are coming back after a very long layoff, we must be happy to be covered in their positions.”

Gor Mahia, who were crowned the league champions for the fourth season in a row after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) moved to end the summer season owing to the Covid-19, will represent the nation in the Caf Champions League and Polack believes for the team to accomplish well, they have to keep their finest players.

“I have talked to the team’s top brass and told them the importance of keeping our squad intact,” Polack continued.

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“We must fight quite difficult to keep our best players, we need consistency to prevail in the Caf competition and it is the reason I would like my key players to remain.

“I have asked the management to start talking to players whose contracts are running down, or have already run down, we need the team together, we want to build a strong team and this can only be achieved if we stick with our squad for another two or three seasons.”

Goal understands captain Kenneth Muguna and his assistant Joash Onyango are one of the key players who could leave K’Ogalo next transfer window.