Should he, as widely expected, be named Gor Mahia coach on Thursday, Steve Polack’s immediate role is to mastermind a win for the Kenyan champions against their Burundian counterparts Aigle Noir Makamba FC in the preliminaries of the 2019/2020 Caf Champions League.
The Englishman arrived in Nairobi at 2:42pm Wednesday to replace Hassan Oktay, who delivered his resignation letter to K’Ogalo chairman Ambrose Rachier on Tuesday evening, citing ‘personal’ problems in his native Europe.
Polack will sign a two-year contract on Thursday before departing with the team to Bujumbura Friday morning in time for Sunday’s Champions League first leg clash.
This game is set for the 10,000 seater Intwari stadium, formerly known as the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium, in the country’s capital.
Gor assistant coach Patrick Odhiambo has been preparing the first team in Oktay’s absence, but Nation Sport understands club chairman Rachier had to move in fast and bring in Polack as the former Sony Sugar coach doesn’t have the requisite qualifications to take charge of a continental title.
“It is important to have someone who has African football management experience,” Gor Chief Executive Lordvick Aduda explained.
This impending appointment proves second time lucky for Polack as he came in third, behind Oktay, from among 40 applicants during a rigorous interview exercise conducted last November.
Now 58, Polack has coached several other clubs including Finland sides KPV and Viking. He also played professionally as a defender for a number of top-flight clubs in Finland.
Perhaps the lowest moment of Polack’s two-decade coaching career is when he suffered a road accident alongside the entire Asante Kotoko team on July 2017. The incident left one member of the technical bench dead, and scores others, including the coach admitted in hospital for several weeks with life-threatening injuries.
The Kumasi-based club was returning home from a Premier League game against Inter Allies in Accra when their bus hit a stationery vehicle.
Polack will become Gor Mahia’s third manager in as many years and his targets include retaining the league title and leading the team to atleast the group stage of the continental tourney this season.
Junior Starlets seek redemption against Tanzania
Kenya will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when they play Tanzania in their third match of the Cecafa Under-17 Women’s Challenge Cup at Njeru Technical Centre in Jinja on Friday.
Kenya wrote an emphatic statement of intent when they crushed Djibouti 14-0 in their opening match on Monday only to struggle to come from behind to hold Eritrea to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
“The team has played well so far and we hope to continue with the same pace. We have not played against all these teams before and that is what makes this competition more challenging but I’m sure the experience will take us a long way,” said Junior Starlets coach Jackeline Juma.
Tanzania are also on four points but have an inferior goal difference having breezed past Eritrea in their opening match with a whopping 5-0 win but recorded a painful 3-3 draw against Burundi at the same venue.
Kenya will be banking on Voila Khalai, Fasila Adhiambo and Anna Arusi who scored 13 goals among them in the Djibouti opener.
In other matches on Friday, bottom of the table Djibouti will be seeking to get their first win of the tournament when they play Burundi from 11am. The last match of the day will see hosts Uganda entertain Eritrea from 4pm.
The tournament is funded by world football governing body, Fifa.
FIXTURES (all matches at Njeru Technical Centre)
Barcelona president confident Clasico will take place
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Thursday the Clasico against Real Madrid next week will not be postponed again, amid renewed fears of unrest around the fixture.
Protestors from the Catalan separatist movement, Democratic Tsunami, have called for a “massive” protest outside Camp Nou, where Barcelona are due to play against Real Madrid in La Liga on December 18.
Spain’s most prestigious fixture was originally scheduled for October 26 but had to be postponed following a wave of pro-independence demonstrations in the city.
“I can say that the Clasico will be played, it will not be postponed again,” Bartomeu said at a Christmas press event in Barcelona.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure it goes ahead. We know that we live in a complicated period in Catalonia but that can be compatible with sport.
“Our stadium is a place for free expression, it always has been, and that is why we want to send out a message of normality and calm.
“The club is preparing for the Clasico with complete normality and we tell our fans to come with their family and friends.
“Together we have to deliver a Clasico that is a celebration of sport and of people. We want peace and calm.”
Democratic Tsunami have urged protestors to gather at four points around Camp Nou from 4:00 pm (1800 EAT), four hours before kick-off.
“In an exceptional situation, we should act in an exceptional way,” said a statement from the group on Tuesday.
The rally is the latest in a series of demonstrations that began two months ago when Spain’s top court jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders over their role in a failed 2017 bid for independence.
Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar: Red Devils record impressive 4-0 home win ▷ Kenya News
– Manchester United vs AZ Alkmaar’s Europa League tie ended 4-0 in favor of Red Devils
– The Premier League side however finished as leaders in Group L with 13 points
– Mason Greenwood scored a brace, while Juan Mata and Ashley Young also scored each
Manchester United on Thursday night, December 12, recorded impressive 4-0 win over visiting AZ Alkmaar in their final group game in the 2019/20 Europa League campaign.
The win means Manchester United finished as Group L leaders with 13 points winning four games, lost one and drew another.
But Manchester United had to wait till the second half for them to score their goals against AZ Alkmaar who were superb in the first half.
AZ Alkmaar also wanted to win at Old Trafford so as for them to finish the Group as leaders.
They had the first chance to score in the 11th minute through Oussama Idrissi who got a nice pass from Calvin Stengs, but he failed to beat Sergio Romero.
Manchester United however scored their first goal in the 53rd minute through Ashley Young, and five minutes later, Mason Greenwood increased the scoreline for the Red Devils.
Juan Mata scored the third goal for Manchester United in the 62nd minute before Mason Greenwood netted the winner in the 64th minute as Red Devils won 4-0.
Rashford’s steady rise from a young starlet to Manchester United’s talisman is setting a similarity line between the England international and club legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 22-year-old star produced a man of the match performance against rivals Manchester City with a brilliant goal.
Interestingly, the game against Pep Guardiola’s men was not the only match Rashford would put in a messianic brilliance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s struggling side.
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