Brazilian coach Ze Maria takes charge at Gor Mahia
Brazilian José Marcelo Ferreira “Ze Maria” was on Tuesday unveiled as the new coach of Gor Mahia and immediately made retaining the Premier League title his chief objective.
The former coach at Castello(Italy) and Ceahlăul Piatra Neamț (Romania) said that his players will need to adopt to his playing philosophy besides embracing two training sessions a day.
The ex-Brazil international was unveiled alongside Italian fitness coach, Sandro Fanton, whom he will work with get the best out of a demoralized K’Ogalo playing unit who have been underwhelming in recent league matches.
“I’m very happy to be here. It’s my first time in Kenya and I know your (Kenyans) passion for Brazilian and English football,” he said.
“I explained to them (the players) my philosophy; they have to play soccer; it’s easy for me; if they are happy, I’m happy. I’m Brazilian, I live for the game.”
Ze Maria amassed 45 caps for the Samba Boys during an illustrious playing career that also saw him win a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as well as a Copa America title in Bolivia in 1997.
“They (playing unit) have to take the team to its place; to defend the title of last year–this is my goal.
“They are good players but tactically? I will have to know that on the pitch,” he said.
Fitness coach Fantoni, 50, who worked with Ze Maria at his last work station in Romania, said that he was glad to join the champions.
“Gor Mahia is a strong club with a history of soccer,” the bald-shaven, mean looking physical trainer said.
ONE – YEAR DEALS
The duo have inked one- year renewable deals.
Ze Maria will earn Sh 450,000 monthly and Sh 120,000 in house allowance.
His modest pay is a big cut on Frank Nuttall, who prior to his departure had sealed a new deal worth Sh 750,000 besides a house allowance of Sh120, 000.
The duo will move to rented apartments once they’ve settled down .They are currently putting up at the Nairobi Safari Club.
Club boss Ambrose Rachier said that they settled on Ze Maria based on his youthful age and the ability to communicate in a number of languages notably Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Rachier also hit out at candidates lining up to unseat him.
“Now that there is sponsorship everybody wants to be Gor Mahia chairman,” he said.
His harsh reaction come a day after the club’s Electorate Independent Board (EIB) chairman, Josiah Oliech sent out notice setting the club election date on April 3, 2016 at the Nyayo National Stadium handball court.
Rachier was elected in January 2014 on a two -year mandate and with his term expired, pressure has been mounting on him to exit the stage.