Nairobi News

HashtagSports

Robertinho: Why I turned down Gor Mahia in 2018

New Gor Mahia coach Roberto Oliviera Gonclaves has opened up on why he turned down an opportunity to manage the Kenyan champions two years ago.

The Brazilian trainer, commonly known as Robertinho, was on K’Ogalo’s radar in 2018 after he masterminded a 2-1 win over the Kenyan side at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi at a time he was in charge of Rayon Sport.

That result denied Gor Mahia, then under the tutelage of Dylan Kerr, a place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 Caf Confederation Cup and when the Englishman left for South African side Black Leopards, Robertinho emerged as the first choice to take took over.

Nairobi News has established Gor sent a top official to Rwanda to negotiate a possible deal with Robertinho. The two met in Kigali but could not thrash out a deal and it is only thereafter that the Kenyan giants brought in Hassan Oktay as a ‘Plan B’.

“I had an opportunity to come to Gor earlier but decided not to because I (still) had some work to do in Rwanda. We were almost winning the league which is a big achievement. It was not the right time,” Robertinho recalled.

The experienced Robertinho, who has also handled Tunisian club Stade Tunisien, officially commenced work on Monday as a replacement for Briton Steven Polack who quit via mutual consent.

He vowed to help Gor Mahia make a mark on the continental front.

“This is a good team, very good players who look happy. We have to try and make sure we win the league again. And then, we can look at the continental games. The team has a lot of experience and that makes it easy to make a mark and try to dominate.”

The football calender in Kenya is yet to be agreed upon with a government ban on all contact sport still in force due to the Coronavirus pandemic.