Johnathan McKinstry reflects on Gor Mahia's treacherous journey to glory

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FKFPL Johnathan McKinstry reflects on Gor Mahia's treacherous journey to glory

Festus Chuma 08:04 - 29.06.2023

Coach McKinstry reflects on the challenging start to the season and the remarkable turnaround of Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has opened up on the challenging circumstances the club faced at the start of the 2022/2023 FKF Premier League season.

Despite these difficulties, McKinstry's resilience and the unwavering commitment of the players propelled Gor Mahia to the top of the table, securing their place in the upcoming CAF Champions League.

McKinstry, who took over the coaching reins from Andreas Spier in July 2022, shed light on the tumultuous situation that plagued the club.

"It's hard to really convey how difficult the situation was twelve months ago at the club," the Irishman said on Wednesday during the team's breakfast meeting at a Nairobi hotel.

Mckinstry further revealed that the club's chairman, Ambrose Rachier, had confided in him, stating that it was one of the toughest spells the club had endured in the past two decades.

"We were really in a difficult situation. I think it is pretty well known that last pre-season, because of difficulties we were facing before the current sponsors came onboard," he added.

"There were days when we had seven or eight players who were able to make it to training. We were in a situation where boys had to choose between whether they had to feed themselves adequately or pay for transport to come to training," he noted.

However, despite these overwhelming challenges, McKinstry and his players refused to be defeated.

Their determination, combined with the timely sponsorship deal that runs until 2025, injected much-needed stability into the club.

The three-year agreement, valued at Ksh240 million, ensures that Gor Mahia receives Ksh 80 million per season, providing a lifeline for the struggling team.

With the support of the sponsors, Gor Mahia began their remarkable ascent, culminating in a triumphant end to the 2022/2023 FKF Premier League season.

The team's outstanding performance propelled them to a record-extending 20th league crown, securing their place as the representatives of Kenya in the upcoming CAF Champions League.

Despite inheriting a club in turmoil, the coach remained steadfast in his mission to rebuild and restore the team's glory. Under his guidance, Gor Mahia transformed from a struggling side to a formidable force in Kenyan football.

As the dust settles on the challenging season, Gor Mahia and their coach, McKinstry, can now bask in the well-deserved glory of their accomplishments.

Their ability to overcome adversity, both on and off the pitch, serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the team and their unwavering determination to succeed.