Shakava off to Nkana FC

Reports suggest that Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava is off to Nkana FC of Zambia. This according to a Gor Mahia official.

“This is a deal that is 99% done and Shakava will join Nkana in due course. He also has blessings from Gor Mahia who are ready to hand him his release letter,”  said the official to goal.com

Letting Shakava go before his contract is finished is a smart move if Gor Mahia can get a transfer fee.

Shakava joined Kogalo in 2014 from Kakamega Homeboyz. At the time, Homeboyz were reluctant to let him leave despite having been relegated back to the second tier.

He became captain in 2018 upon the departure of Musa Mohamed. He will be joining Musa at Nkana FC. Also on the Nkana roster is another Kenyan, goalkeeper Duncan Otieno.

Nkana FC are one of Zambia’s most popular football teams and was the most successful team in Zambia during the 1980s and 1990s when they were known as Nkana Red Devils. They were among the most feared teams in Africa. They reached the Semi-Finals of the Africa Champions cup four times during this period (1983, 1986, 1991, 1994) and were finalists in 1990.

We thank Shakava for 4 successful seasons and wish him success in his next chapter.

Gor Mahia sign Maurice Ojwang

Gor Mahia have signed Western Stima centre back Maurice Ojwang, a player who was being pursued by a number of teams.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Record Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia have completed the signing of defender Maurice Ojwang’ from Western Stima on a three-year deal.

Ojwang’, who captained Stima last season, has been on K’Ogalo’s radar since 2016 when Brazilian Jose “Ze Maria” Marcelo was in charge.

While confirming the move, Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda insisted Ojwang’ is not a replacement for skipper Harun “Shakes” Shakava who is rumoured to be on his way out.

“We are happy to have landed Ojwang’. He is a young defender with a lot of promise. He has been called up to the national team before so there is no doubt about his quality. He is Gor Mahia material,” Aduda told Nation Sport.

“Shakava is still a Gor Mahia player and we can’t talk about him being replaced yet he is still with us. Ojwang’ is a player we have been following for a long time and we are happy we have finally signed him,” underlined the veteran football administrator.

It will also be a sweet reunion with his former teammates at Stima namely Kenneth Muguna, Geoffrey Ochieng’, Joash Onyango and Bernard Ondiek.

On Shakava

CEO Omondi Aduda has indicated that the club is interested in giving Harun Shakava a new contract.

“He was with the boys in Rwanda for CECAFA Kagame Cup and he knows what he wants in the team. We shall listen to him and our able office will implement his recommendations in case he wants more players,’’ explained Aduda to Citizen Sports.

But Shakava has made it clear that he will not renew his contract

“It is my own decision to quit the club at the end of my contract and I will not pen a new deal with Gor. No one has compelled me to take this action but it is my personal decision to look for other options elsewhere,’’ he said to Citizen Sports.

Aduda is confident that Kogalo will do better in Continental Football this season

“As you have noticed Gor Mahia has kept making a step ahead. Last year we reached the CAF Confederations quarter finals and God willing this time we shall go beyond that stage,’’ added Aduda.

Shakava motivated to work harder

When the provisional Harambee stars squad that was to train in France was named, Gor Mahia skipper Harun Shakava’s name was nowehere to be seen. This came as a surprise to many as Shakava had an excellent season and was the most consistent central defender at Kogalo.

Even after Brian Mandela Onyango was waylaid by an injury, Shakava was not called up as coach Migne named the final squad. Shakava is taking it all in stride.

“I cannot force anyone to call me, it will be out of order to do that. This is a challenge for me to continue working harder and focus on the ways of improving my game because maybe my best was not someone’s best. What I know is that my chances will come one day and no one will take that away from me.” he said to goal.com

Former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu faired only slightly better. He was named to the training squad but was later dropped. Allan Wanga , Cliffoed Miheso and Jesse Were were other surprise omissions.

“The truth is that I am taking everything positively, that is the only way to grow. I also urge striker Allan Wanga, Anthony Akumu and Jesse Were to take this snub as a challenge to give their best next season.” said Shakava

Three Gor Mahia players made it to the final squad: Joash Onyango, Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata. A slight improvement when compared to the last time Kenya qualified for the Africa Nations cup. On that occassion in 2004, no Gor Mahia or AFC Player was in the squad. Both teams were battling relegation.

Shakava for his part is not certain about where he will be playing when his contract expires.

“I have about six months remaining in my contract with Gor Mahia. I still don’t know whether I will be with them or not but years are not on my side so I just have to give my best wherever I will be.” concluded Shakava to goal

Oktay: Kipkirui, Muguna, Onyango, Shakava should be in AFCON squad

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay is adamant that some of his players are getting the short shrift when it comes to selection to the national team.

In particular he has mentioned Kenneth Muguna, Nicholas Kipkirui, Harun Shakava and Samuel Onyango as players who should be headed to Egypt if selection was fair.

“I said it before and will still repeat the same, Nicholas Kipkirui and Kenneth Muguna are good players who deserve to be in the national team. Captain Harun Shakava is also on form and should be in the squad. I don’t know why they are not included in the squad,”

Muguna has been an excellent performer since the second leg of the league started. Winning balls decisively despite his slender frame as he did when he dispossed an AFC player on Sunday leading to the second goal. Engineering lightning quick counter-attacks as he did against Sofapaka last week, finding Kahata as the latter was racing down the right flank, leading to the second goal against Sofapaka. And his passes have been sharp, leading to numerous goals including the second goal against AFC. Some wrote him off after he had a poor start to the season after a long layoff . Many more wrote him off after he questioned coach Oktay’s player selection criteria.

Kipkirui has shown that he has a poachers instinct. His ability to make intelligent runs into the box has resulted in 12 goals for himself this season. Not much was expected from him when he joined. He has been the revelation of the season and should be rewarded with a place in the national team.

Samuel Onyango has been solid all season, scoring often despite not starting in many games. Most memorable was his goal against Lobi Stars whereby he left two Naija defenders sprawled on the grass before planting the ball into the empty net.

“Look, like for Kipkirui he deserves to be in the U23 squad and now he has already matured and can feature for the senior team. Samuel Onyango is also having a season of his life and deserves to be considered. I am not defending them because they are Gor Mahia players, but because they deserve to be in the squad.” continued Oktay.

Shakava is solid in defense and has gone about the business of defending and captaining. He has been professional and did not raise a complaint when coach Oktay handed the captains armband to Dennis Oliech. All in all Shakava has been a tall pillar in the Kogalo defense.

On Sunday many fans were left wondering how Paul Were was selected ahead of the Kogalo players. Its a situation similar to 1997 and 1998 when Gor Mahia had the countries best midfielders in Dan Ogada, Tom Okaya, Frazier Ochieng and others but they were ignored by the national team selectors.

Oktay: We were the better side

Coach Oktay also lauded his side for dominating against their arch rivals on Sunday.

“This did not look like a derby. I can’t believe it. Apart from the numbers it is impossible to know that this was a derby. We dominated the game, we created and missed many chances, were able to play great football. They (Leopards) didn’t give us the expected completion,”  he told goal.com

For his part AFC coach Casa Mbungo admitted that Kogalo has better players but vowed to strengthen his side for next season.

“They caught us. We had come to give them a challenge but they were better than us today. I will ask the office to provide a good budget so that we can make good signings at the end of the season. That is the only way we can compete favourably against Gor,” he said

“I said it before and will still repeat the same, Nicholas Kipkirui and Kenneth Muguna are good players who deserve to be in the national team. Captain Harun Shakava is also on form and should be in the squad. I don’t know why they are not included in the squad,”

Shakava: We missed attackers

Gor Mahia skipper Harun Shakava has stated that the club missed the services of Jacque Tuyisenge and Dennis Oliech who were missing due to suspensions and injury respectively.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava has rued the absence of lead strikers Jacques Tuyisenge and Dennis Oliech during Wednesday’s Caf Confederation Cup’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Petro Atletico.

Tuyisenge and Oliech starred as the Kenyan champions easily defeated Egypt’s Zamalek 4-2 in their opening Group ‘D’ match of this competition in Nairobi last week.

This duo was – however – missing in action during Wednesday’s game in Luanda owing to suspension and a foot injury respectively.

“Every team has got dependable players and so yes, we missed them. They (Tuyisenge and Oliech) are currently on form and I am certain they would have made a difference here,” explained the burly Shakava.

At the Estadio 11 de Novembro, Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay replaced Tuyisenge and Oliech with Francis Mustafa and Erissa Ssekisambu.

But the two foreign strikers appeared to struggle to break down a resolute Angolan rear-guard which was manned by the agile Elber in goal.

Infact, it is only after the introduction of rookie Kenyan forward Nicholas Kipkirui that Gor suddenly looked dangerous.

The former Zoo Kericho player ended up scoring a last-gasp consolation for the visitors, a strike that ensures the Kenyan side occupy second place in this four-team group.

With trips to Cairo and Algiers looming for K’Ogalo, Shakava believes it is the home form which will ultimately determine the team’s chances of making it to the quarter-finals of this money-spinning tournament.

“Firstly, we have to cut out the mistakes at the back because at this level you are promptly punished. Next, we need to win all our home games, if you look at the other results keenly, everybody seemed to have won at home.”

“We also have to reduce the mistakes at the back because at this level, you are promptly punished for giving the ball away in your own half.”

Gor’s loss, coupled with that one-all draw between hosts Zamalek and Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey in Cairo, leaves the Kenyan champions second in this group with three points from two games, a point behind the Algerians.

The Angolan club is third with a similar number of points as Gor Mahia, but with an inferior goal difference, whilst the Egyptian club is surprisingly ranked last.

In other selected results of this competition, Zambia’s Nkana FC, which is home to Kenya internationals Musa Mohammed and Duncan Otieno, defeated Sudan’s Al Hilal Omudurman 2-1 in Kitwe.

But then, another Zambian team Zesco United, which is home to the Kenyan trio Jesse Were, David Owino and Anthony Okumu wasn’t as lucky. It lost 2-1 to Asante Kotoko in Kumasi.

Gor Mahia will hope to have Oliech and Tuyisenge available ahead of the next assignment away to NA Hussein Day in Algeria on February 24.

Harun Shakava appointed team captain

Shakava seen here receiving the Sportpesa cup from Tanzanian cabinet minister Anthony Mavunde

Gor Mahia’s towering central defender Harun Shakava has been given the captains armband by coach Dylan Kerr. Shakava takes over from Musa Mohamed who has departed to KF Tirana.

Shakava has captained Gor Mahia before, most notably at the 2017 Sportpesa Supercup. Unlike in past seasons where players voted for the captain, this time it was a direct appointment by coach Dylan Kerr.

“Shakava will be my new leader on the pitch, I usually prefer a center back to captain my team and he is the best candidate for the same. As a matter of fact, the extra responsibility will make him mature and his game will improve” said Kerr to goal.com

Indeed most Kogalo captains have historically been defenders, most notably Julius Owino and Musa Mohamed and going back much further it was Peter Otieno “Bassanga”, Austin Oduor “Makamu” and Paul Ochieng “Kunde”.

Fans should trust coach Kerr’s judgment as he it is he who observes the players at close hand and knows which ones have good leadership qualities. Also Musa Mohamed’s game significantly improved when he was named captain. The same can be expected of Shakava.

Harun Shakava joined Kogalo before the 2014 season after an impressive run at Kakamega Homeboyz.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch has been named as Vice Captain.

“I wanted to give Tuyisenge the assistant captain role but he said he wanted to concentrate on his game, so we settled on Oluoch, who is an experienced player as well, with perfect leadership qualities,” Kerr told goal.com

Oluoch joined Kogalo in 2015, taking over the starting goalkeeper spot from the long serving Jerim Onyango.

Olunga and Shakava elated with performance

Michael Olunga is certainly the man of the moment in Kenya football. He carries on his broad shoulders, the hopes of many Kenya fans. For a long time Kenya has been largely dependent on Dennis Oliech to spearhead the attack. And for a long time there seemed to be no striker on the horizon ready to replace Oliech. That is until Olunga joined Gor mahia this season. Though he had a few flashes of brilliance while at Thika United, it is at Gor Mahia that Olunga has met his potential. His form at club level has been excellent. His form for the various national teams has been superb. Most notably his performance against Zambia where he was one of the few bright spots. Then there was his hat trick against Botswana in the Olympics qualifiers.

Olunga credits the performance against Mauritius to teamwork and a good game plan.

“We have started well and we want to build on that. We want to forget the bad run that we have been having for a long time and we want to take the win as a stepping stone for this campaign. “Hopefully we will post good result on Sunday,”

“It was a tough game but we came knowing we had to win for our nation and fans. We put a good effort and at the end of the day the result was positive. Everyone worked according to the coach instruction. The plan was to score early and this time round we defended as a unit because in our past games, we have been scoring early but end up conceding,” said, Olunga to Capital FM.

Former Gor Mahia Coach Bobby Williamson also credits teamwork for the win

“It was a good performance. I saw a tremendous improvement in the midfield department, and the way the midfielders coordinated with the attackers was just perfect.

Harun Shakava who was a late call up to the national team, made the most of his opportunity by getting his name on the scoresheet. Shakava was one of the players called up as coach Bobby Williamson sought to change the team that lost to Zambia. The towering central defender who joined Gor Mahia from Kakamega Homeboyz has developed a knack for using his length to score goals.  It was his first goal for the national team and Shakava credits his club for his good performance.

“I feel my consistency at club level is paying off. I have been working very hard in all assignments and getting such a chance means a lot to me. I must thank my teammates and the entire Gor Mahia fraternity for the support not forgetting the national team coaches,” added the former Kakamega Homeboyz defender. My target is to continue working to cement my place in the national team. It will not be easy, I know that but step by step I will get there.” he said to futaa.com

 

Shakava, Olunga on target as Kenya beat Mauritius

Kenya’s Harambee Stars opened their campaign for the 2018 World Cup with a 5-2 win over hosts Mauritius in a round one preliminary qualifier match at the Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue Maural on Wednesday.

Goals from Johana Omollo and Ayub Timbe got Kenya off to a quick start as Kenya took a 2-0 halftime lead. Ayub Timbe is becoming a master of curving the ball home from impossible angles. Against Comoros last year, he scored a free-kick from a difficult angle. This time against Mauritius , he scored directly from a corner. The last time yours truly recalls Harambee stars scoring directly from a corner was in 1989 when Gor Mahia winger Sammy Onyango “Jogoo” curved home a corner kick during a world cup qualifier against Malawi.

Towering Gor Mahia defender Harun Shakava scored the third goal in the 49th minute when he slid forward to beat Mauritian defenders to the ball. Stars were now in a commanding 3-0 lead. But they became complacent and conceded two goals. The first, a penalty in the 68th minute by Jean Steve Jonathan. The second came in the 77th minute from a goal mouth melee through skipper Kevin Bru, who plies his trade with England’s Championship side Ipswich Town.

With the score at 3-2, Kenya took control of the game with goals from Johanna Omollo and Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga.

It marks the first time Kenya has won a match away from home since 2011. The win albeit against a team ranked number 168 in the FIFA rankings, offers coach Bobby Williamson a reprieve. His performance so far has been poor. Harambee stars also needed to put their disciplinary problems behind them.

The return match is next weekend at Kasarani. The aggregate winner plays Cape Verde next.

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