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Kenya: ‘Working in Silence’ – Gor Unperturbed By Lack of ‘Big Name’ Friendly Matches

Nairobi — Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo says the team has been working in silence, and believe they are ready for the new season despite the lack of high profile friendly matches preparing for the new campaign.

Unlike several other teams including Bandari, Kenya Police FC and Tusker FC who have chosen to play some international friendly matches outside the country, Gor has kept it quiet mostly and played local friendly matches in their build up.

“We understand that the fans love to see their team out there, having some pride in playing international matches. But also, if you look at last season we didn’t have international friendly matches. We just stayed local and we ended up becoming champions,” Odhiambo said.

He added; “We believe in the plans the coach has put in for our pre-season training, we trust in whatever he has set out. We have been very quiet in pre-season but working really well. We are ready for the new season.”

Meanwhile, coach Jonathan McKinstry says they have had to be very smart with their pre-season preparations due to the short turnaround time between the end of last season and when the team reported back to training.

“We had three and a half weeks off for everyone and it has its own positives and negatives. The positive is that the guys came back in good condition because they didn’t lose their fitness much,” the tactician said.

He added; “We just need to manage how we prepare and not try to overdo because we have another long season coming up. The guys are in good spirits and we want to go again.”

Gor last weekend played against Bidco United, losing 2-1 and will play their first competitive match of the season on Saturday when they take on Kakamega Homeboyz in the FKF Charity Shield at the Kasarani Stadium.

McKinstry believes it will be a good opportunity for his side to gauge just how ready they are for the new season as well as give the players and staff an opportunity to start their season with a trophy.

“Pre-season games don’t necessarily give you a clear picture because the players don’t necessarily put their bodies on the line but when you have a competitive game, it is a good opportunity to have a look,”

“The Charity Shield is a hybrid of both with a trophy on the line. The players want to win and collect medals and so it will offer an extra incentive,” noted the tactician.

He expects a tough duel from Homeboyz who beat them twice last season, 1-0 in the FKF Cup, which they went on to win and 3-2 in a league encounter late on in the season.

McKinstry admits that the Kakamega based side has been one of the best teams in the league the last two years, and knows it will not be a walk in the pack in the season-opening duel.

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