Exclusive: Gor Mahia appoint Brazilian Leo Neiva to take over from McKinstry

1st July 2024

The 46-year-old will replace Northern Irish tactician Johnathan McKinstry on a two-year deal.

Leo Neiva. PHOTO| SportPesa
Leo Neiva. PHOTO| SportPesa
  • Neiva joins Gor Mahia from Ugandan outfit Vipers.
  • The Brazilian coach will take over from Johnathan McKinstry who departed after leading K'Ogalo to two consecutive titles.
  • He will be deputized by Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno who returns to the club from Sofapaka.
  • Michael Nam, who was McKinstry's assistant, will also remain in the same role in a new development that will see two assistant coaches at the club.

Record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia have appointed Brazilian tactician Leonard Martins Neiva, popularly known as Leo Neiva as their new head coach taking over from the successful Johnathan McKinstry.

Neiva, a former coach at Tanzania's Yanga where he won both the 2014/15 league title and the Super Cup (the Community Shield), was officially presented by club chairman Ambrose Rachier on Monday 1 July 2024 and is expected to hit the ground running immediately. 

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The Brazilian, who joins K'Ogalo from Ugandan outfit Vipers, will be entrusted with leading K'Ogalo back to the 24/25 CAF Champions League where the team is returning to continental football for the first time since 2021 after lifting a record-extending 21st title.

Neiva will be deputized by former Gor Mahia head coach Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno who makes a return to the club he once played for before transitioning into coaching.

Michael Nam, who was McKinstry's assistant, will also remain in the same role in a new development that will see two assistant coaches at the club.

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Neiva, who is a CAF A license holder, UEFA Pro and CBF Pro License holder, has also had coaching roles at America CF, Platinum Stars, Bonsucesso-RJ, Yadanarborn FC and at Rakhine United between 2011-2012.

Neiva also worked at Associacao Atletica Francana, Montego Bay United, the Saint Kitts and Nevis national team.

Between 2021 to 2022, he worked at Sudan and CECAFA region heavyweights Al-Merrikh but was sacked after just 51 days, without managing an official game.

He joined Vipers in July 2023 before being shown the door in December 2023.

ALSO READ: Ex-Gor Mahia CEO outlines what club need to do in wake of Champions League return


Saint Kitts and Nevis National Team: Qualified for CONCACAF's Second Round of World Cup Qualifiers 2022 for the first time ever

National Championship - Jamaica 2016 Red Stripe Premier League 2015/2016-Montego Bay FC

National Championship - Tanzania 2015 Vodacom Premier League 2014/2015-Young Africans SC

Super Cup - Tanzania 2014-Young Africans SC

Nelson Mandela Cup South Africa 2009 Royal Bafokeng Platinum Stars FC

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Coach Licences

For the last 16 years, Leonardo Neiva has been studying and improving his football skills and knowledge by taking recognized coach license courses in different countries.

In 2007 he attended the coach license in Brazil, at Brazil Football Coach Association, and then joined several football clubs.

Later in 2017, aiming at an international experience, Leonardo Neiva obtained the CONMEBOL A License from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in Brazil.

In 2019 coach Leonardo Neiva finalized the Pro License Course, which is the highest coaching certification available nowadays.

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