Two scenarios best describe what Bobby Williamson meant to Gor Mahia, it’s only when you give closer attention to detail do you best realize- this man had a touch of heaven in him.
Bobby Williamson will no longer be Gor Mahia coach, he already named his Harambee Stars line up that will prepare to face Egypt as Kenya seeks to rebuild, but that’s for the future- today- it’s all about the past.
In this regards, allow me take you back to 2013- Gor Mahia had already occupied eight different positions in 13 match days. Ranging from 6th to a lowly 10th in the first two match days alone, but now dangling at second- flattering with the prospect of being 1st for the first time since the season begun and jokingly staring at 6th lace or lower should they lose their next match (match day 14 albeit with two games in hand).
The task doesn’t look impossible; the situation, however of Logarusic’s exit and the sight of a bleak future leaves Gor Mahia on the verge of an unprecedented embarrassment.
Step up the man Bobby Williamson- not arriving to any much fanfare, but backed up by his glittering CV having guided Uganda to several CECAFA triumphs and a near AFCON qualification, he’s bound to take on one of East Africa’s most hazardous jobs.
A first win courtesy of Kiongera and Rama Salim at Nyayo Stadium over a hapless Chemelil side meant top spot was achieved in only under 90 minutes, however, what was to follow was what endeared him to the Gor Mahia faithful- top position until the end of the season and the clubs first KPL title in 18 years.
This week as Bobby exits, he leaves Gor Mahia at the top (2 games in hand) and like in similar circumstances that greeted his arrival, the game before his departure would have either kept the team out of the first position or left them further down away from the leaders.
The calmness with which he maneuvered these select situations is always a sight to behold, a much greater portrait of a man whose silence and standing position on the touchline meant he watched over 4770 minutes without taking his seat.
The Harambee Stars job doesn’t in every sense look like the ‘next step’ after club duty that has been similarly successful, but the warmth and aura with which Bobby Williamson accepts such a job makes me think- perhaps he might be the right man after all.
For year’s majority of Gor Mahia and Kenyan football fans have recognized the ‘selfish’ ways of football coaches, those who would want a club job and a National team job both at the same time. Bobby however, wasn’t the type; I thought he made it clear- he was only going to hold a job at a time.
Two different weekends (the ended one and the current one) shall surely produce the best out of this man, the contrary, however even if he fails shall not bother the football universe so much. Having managed a semi-great depression era at Gor Mahia, the Harambee Stars have a safe hand in Bobby.
Assume not the silence of the media, the patriotism evangelists who clutch onto anything ‘Kenyan Football’, it’s the world Bobby thrives in. Not one of being involved in fan enthusiasm and fan sideshows but one bent on astute professionalism, one that appreciates just a clap, sometimes a wave, in greater circumstances (also fury)- a drop of his jacket.
So there you have it, a beautiful story comes in small packages- a more beautiful story perhaps, in Bobby like packages.
BTW- When was the last time a Gor Mahia coach walked out of a job/got priced out of it without getting fired? Special.
VIEW- Kiongera’s goal against Chemelil FC that sealed Bobby Williamson’s first win ever in the Kenya Premier League (17th July 2013, Nyayo Stadium)