‘Ze Maria’ is coach of the month

Gor tac­ti­cian win Fidelity In­sur­ance top award for Oc­to­ber

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY STAR REPORTER/

Gor Mahia coach Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Fer­reira has been named Fidelity In­sur­ance Coach of the Month for Oc­to­ber.

The youth­ful tac­ti­cian was unan­i­mously voted ahead of Tusker’s Paul Nkata and So­fa­paka’s John Baraza. Ze Maria led the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons to vic­to­ries over Mathare United and AFC Leop­ards but suc­cumbed to late pres­sure from West­ern Stima to draw two-all to cap an anx­ious month with seven points.

Nkata also man­aged to amass seven points from Ban­dari and Sony Sugar vic­to­ries in ad­di­tion to a draw with City Stars. The third contestant for Oc­to­ber gong John Baraza, regis­tered six points for rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened So­fa­paka af­ter AFC Leop­ards and Muhoroni Youth vic­to­ries but was pegged back by a 1-0 away loss to Sony Sugar.

Ze Maria be­come the sec­ond for­eign tac­ti­cian to win the Fidelity award fol­low­ing ear­lier tri­umph by for­mer AFC Leop­ards coach Ivan Min­naert. Other past win­ners in­clude Zedekiah Otieno of Posta Rangers, Fran­cis Ki­manzi (Mathare United), Salim Babu (Sony Sugar), Fran­cis Baraza (Chemelil Sugar) and Henry ‘Za­gallo’ Omino (West­ern Stima) who re­mains the only coach to win it twice.

“I’m happy to get this award but it’s for my play­ers. They have played like cham­pi­ons in the past five matches and for that I ded­i­cate the award to them,” said the for­mer Brazil in­ter­na­tional, who has promised to show that his team de­served the league ti­tle in the sea­son-en­der against cham­pi­ons Tusker.

“We can give a guard to Tusker but we’ll show them on the pitch that we are bet­ter. I feel sorry for my play­ers for los­ing the ti­tle be­cause of de­ducted points but we’ll start work­ing for next year very early. I want us to start 2017 on a high in or­der to wrap the ti­tle early,” added the 43-year-old coach.

Mean­while, Kenyan striker Michael Olunga has been nom­i­nated for the Swedish Premier League New Player of the Year award.

The for­mer Gor Mahia ace, who plies his trade at IF Djur­gar­dens scored 12 goals for the Allsven­skan side this sea­son and will now battle with Alexan­der Isaac of AIK and Jes­per Karls­son of Falken­berg FF in the nom­i­na­tion list.

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