Gor register 25 for Champions League with some new faces missing

Monday, August 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Gor Mahia players Nicholas Kipkurui and Kenneth Muguna celebrate a goal during a league match last season. Photo/DAVID NDOLO

Kenya’s representatives to the 2019/20 CAF Champions League Gor Mahia have submitted a list of 25 players for registration ahead of preliminary rounds commencing this weekend.

Among the players listed in the squad are former skipper Harun Shakava and Burundian Mustafa Francis who have since parted ways with Gor.

New signings Gislain Yikpe Gnamien of Ivory Coast and Ghanaian Francis Afriyie headline the new comers in K’Ogalo’s CAF squad. The Ivorian has been handed jersey number nine while Afriyie will don 19.

Other newly-signed players include goalkeeper David Robert Mapigano, former Nairobi Stima winger Curtis Wekesa, Tanzania forward Dickson Ambundo and defender Maurice Ojwang.

Forward Kennedy ‘Agogo’ Otieno, signed from Western Stima last week, has not been registered with CAF and may miss Sunday’s tie against Aigle Noir in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Oktay confident

However, K’Ogalo can swap the two names before the weekend’s fixture but at a cost. The team has set the CAF Champions League group stage as this season’s minimum continental target after twice reaching the second tier Confederation Cup group stage.

Former Kenyan international Dennis Oliech, who resumed training last week following a fractured hand last season, is among the forwards K’Ogalo will rely on for goals. Oliech will compete for place with the three new strikers signed in the current transfer window alongside Nicholas Kipkirui.

Having experienced the rigours of continental assignments, the club has not included the exciting but inexperienced players fished from the youth team. Kenyatta University student Eliud Lokuwam headlines the list of snubbed players with promising Eric Ombija also missing.

“It is a very realistic target for Gor Mahia this season. Having looked at the level of recruited strikers, I know the team will get to the group stage with or without me.

The team has also signed a wonderful goalkeeper and great midfielders in Tobias Otieno and Curtis Wekesa,” Turkish coach Hassan Oktay said last week before traveling to his homeland.

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