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‘It wasn’t me!’ – Kerr denies using Gor Mahia as stepping stone

10:41 SAST 2020/10/13
Dylan Kerr of Gor Mahia v Yanga of Tanzania.
The British tactician has come out to defend himself against claims he used K’Ogalo to better his CV before moving to South Africa

Dylan Kerr has distanced himself from claims he used Gor Mahia as a stepping stone to better his career.

The British is among the six foreigners who have handled the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions in the last six seasons, an influx which the club’s former CEO Omondi Aduda explained was as a result of the coaches using the club to better their CVs.

Kerr, who won two league titles with Gor Mahia before ending his 16-month spell to sign for Black Leopards of South Africa, has now told Goal that he was not that type of coach and that his stay with the club was done in a professional manner.

“No…not in my case,” Kerr told Goal on Tuesday when asked whether he was among the coaches who have used Gor Mahia as a stepping stone. “But I can’t say for any other coach, I don’t know about them.”

When pressed further to explain, Kerr said: “It never happened that way and Gor Mahia chairman [Ambrose Rachier] knew about my move, he knew why I left because I talked to him.”

After Bobby Williamson, who went on to win a first league title in 18-years for the club, five coaches have come and left - Frank Nuttall (September 2014-March 2016), Jose Marcelo Ze Marie (March 2016-June 2017), Kerr (2017 July-2018 December), Hassan Oktay (2018-19) and lastly Steven Polack, who resigned last week.

On Monday, Aduda, who was the K’Ogalo CEO during that period, revealed most foreign coaches are using the club to enhance their CVs across Africa.

“It is Gor Mahia which gives them the platform to be seen and noticed,” Aduda told Goal. “Apart from genuine ones like Hassan [Oktay], who had genuine family issues [which he is still taking care of until now] the rest have used the club to enhance their CVs.

“For example, when we brought Frank [Nutall] to Kenya, no one knew about him, but when he came to Kenya and managed to win the league in 2015, he was spotted by Zamalek and he left but he was sacked after 45 days.

“That means we always tolerate them, we give them a good atmosphere to work on and immediately they are spotted, they don’t think twice but walk away.”

Aduda believes the coaches come to exploit Kenyan clubs because if they were good enough, then they should be able to win titles whenever they go after leaving Gor Mahia.

“When you look at Bobby [Williamson], he joined Harambee Stars, and he actually recommended for us to sign Nutall, and when Nutall was known after the unbeaten record, remember he had very good players [Aucho, Olunga, Kagere, Walusimbi and the rest], that was top cream, he was seen and he went to Zamalek but lasted 45 days there,” Aduda continued.

“Then we also had Ze Maria, it was his first stint in Africa, and though he did not win anything, he gave us a good team, it is the team which claimed the Super Cup the next season and also won the league under Dylan Kerr, but he also walked to Tirana but he never lasted there as he was fired.

"Kerr came, he won the league title twice and also reached the group stage of Caf Confederation Cup, he was spotted there and then dashed to South Africa, and what happened in South Africa I think you know. It is him who wrote to us that we terminate his contract but of course he knew he was headed to ‘South Africa.

“Oktay was genuine, he had family issues, I don’t think he used Gor Mahia as a stepping stone, and that is why up to now he is attending to family issues, you cannot blame him for going, he is a very nice guy.”

Gor Mahia have since appointed Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves to replace Polack.