Oktay wants Gor Mahia to keep playmaker Kahata


As Gor Mahia plot to revamp their squad at the end of the season, coach Hassan Oktay has made his wish of retaining play-maker Francis Kahata, known.

The mercurial midfielder is one of the players who are at the very tail end of their contracts but Oktay wants him retained at all costs despite reports of indiscipline within the setup.

The Kenyan international has been reliable both at club and the national team with his left foot dribbling and passing skills and his rumoured departure has left worried.

The former Thika United player lastly renewed his contract on June 30, 2017 for a period of two years and is expected to run it out by the start of next season.

His name has heavily featured in the list of defiant players rumoured to face wrath of the executive committee for gross misconduct but Oktay’s wish is to work with him in the long run, regardless.

The Cypriot disclosed his plan of releasing three to four players deemed surplus to requirement but said Kahata should not come close to that list.

“I am looking forward to have him in the team in the long run. I urge the office to retain him in spite of the disciplinary challenges. He is a fantastic player who has been reliable and I hope his contract will be renewed for him to be able to extend his services with us. We will, however, part ways with three to four players at the end of the season but I will not reveal their identities now,” said Oktay.

As Gor seem certain to clinch an unprecedented 18th league title, Oktay revealed his dream of advancing to the latter stages of the Caf Champions League rather than a run in the Confederations Cup.

Gor have in the past failed to break into the group stages of the Champions League, dropping to the less prestigious Confederation Cup but Oktay is keen to break the jinx next season.

His sentiments were echoed by the club’s Chief Executive Officer Omondi Aduda who said plans were underway to prepare the team in gracing the elite tournament.

“We want to participate in the Champions League next season rather than dropping to the Confederations Cup after an underwhelming campaign in the latter,” Omondi said. “We have few league matches remaining and the team is almost winning the title which guarantees us a place in the Champions League.”

“We have already began preparations as this time round, we want to make progress and advance on the global standings. This will in return increase the number of Kenyan teams in Caf competitions and thus benefit Kenyan football by exposing our players. Zambia will have four teams in continental football while Tanzania are expected to have more teams by 2021 thanks to Simba’s heroics this season.”

Simba reached the quarter-finals of the tournament where they were dumped out by Congolese giants TP Mazambe.

The tough-talking coach said he anticipates for a mouth-watering Mashemeji derby scheduled for May 19 after their fierce rivals beefed their squad in the last transfer period. Oktay observed that the first leg encounter was one-sided but if the quality signings and recent form is anything to go by, then his side has their work cut out. Gor who have dominated the derby in the recent years won the first leg 2-0 at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani.

“It’s going to be a tough match. We are expecting Leopards to give us a run for our money as they have made quality signings. They have brought in quality players who have clicked and I am sure they will be on a revenge mission in the second leg. The first leg was one-sided but I am expecting a tough reverse fixture.”

Since making his way to the Kenyan football, Oktay has rubbed officials in the wrong way and has been sent to the stands twice but he maintains that his quest for fair officiating will not be dampened.

Oktay was sent to the stands when Gor confronted Tanzanian outfit Mbao FC in the SportPesa Cup held in January and again during the Confederation Cup final group stage match against Petro Atletico of Angola.



Source link