• The former Kenyan international admits the entry of Mapigano into the fray has made “Boni” work harder to bring back his form.
• However, the towering 6feet 3 inches Mapigano was blamed for both goals against Tusker by pundits and fans, something Willis does not agree with.
While Gor Mahia’s trip to Algeria hangs in the balance due to lack of sponsorship, goalkeeping coach Willis Ochieng is also having a headache on who to chose between new custodian David Robert Mapigano, and veteran Boniface Oluoch for their Caf Champions League first-leg tie against USM Algiers.
The former Kenyan international admitted that the entry of Mapigano into the mix has pushed Oluoch to work even harder to regain his form.
Mapigano, who joined from Tanzanian side Singinda United on a three-year contract this summer, has started four competitive matches under new coach Steven Pollack and seems to have assumed the number one role but Willis has other thoughts.
“Mapigano was at his best against Aigle Noir in Burundi in both legs of the Caf preliminary, the Super Cup clash win over Bandari and the KPL opener against Tusker, but Oluoch has improved tremendously and competition is high at the moment,” said Ochieng.
The Tanzanian keeper conceded only three goals in four competitive matches, which was not a bad return considering Gor scored 11 goals in the four outings.
However, the towering 6 feet 3 inches Mapigano was blamed for both goals against Tusker by pundits and fans, something Willis does not agree with.
“While the keeper is an easy target, we have to admit the defence lost it’s shaped on both occasions giving the brilliant Boniface Muchiri enough room to pick his target and shoot. However, Mapigano was off his line for the second goal and would have done better," said Willis. Oluoch was the last Gor keeper to win the golden glove during in 2015 when the K'Ogalo finished the season unbeaten.
He said he is enjoying the competition having missed the business end of last season with an injury, and hopes to stay in shape and help his side clinch more titles. “If I get the nod, I will give 100 per cent but if my teammate starts, I wish him the best,” said the Kenya international.
Ochieng admitted that Gor have a history of great keepers and Mapigano, formerly of Singida and Tanzanian giants Simba SC, is a strong and experienced custodian, who fits the billing of what former coach Hassan Oktay wanted, and has impressed so far.