For a journey that begun a little under six months ago, the rise of Gor Mahia’s Under 19 has been miraculous.
Coming up against the backdrop of cynicism and fear of failure, the project has set the pace for rivals to follow.
The idea was mooted in March by Gor Secretary General Chris Omondi to have a junior side that will not only nurture talent, but also act as a feeder to the senior team. This, at a time when Gor’s sponsorship deal with milk
processors Tuzo was coming to an end meant money to splash on top talent would be an unavailable and so the idea ticked all boxes.
And indeed it has, as two weeks ago, the K’Ogalo juniors were crowed Nairobi County League champions.
Just after their formation in March, the County League was born comprising 12 teams from eight zones within the city and the team under the tutelage of former Gor stalwarts Morris Onyango and Zablon ”Pro” Otieno threw themselves into the deep end to gain experience.
While most people expected them to sink, the K’Ogalo juniors instead rose to greater heights, winning the league unbeaten.
In February, trials were called and a record 300 youngsters from all corners of the country attended hoping to be part of the final 30-man squad.
The lucky few would then begin training at their City Stadium base with a couple of build up matches in between before the league kicked off.
The youngsters exhibited great character and ambition resulting into the league title.
This has left the club with a lot of optimism going forward, given there are a number of players who have shown great promise notably skipper Emmanuel Olinga, midfielder Evans Otieno, younger brother to AFC Leopards midfield dynamo Humphrey Mieno and left-back Godfrey Ndiawa.
Cliff ”Hazard” Nyakaya, Amos ‘Pirlo” Nondi, Cornelius Owino and Teddy Osoki also adds to the huge pool of promising talent in the squad and some of them could be joining the senior side after impressing Gor head coach Frank Nuttal.
”We are looking at developing every time and some of us want to use this as a launching pad for bigger things,” said vice captain Amos Nondi.
With the success of this project, Gor now want to follow it up with a fully fledged solid youth plan although financial constraints are placing a hurdle on the way.