Kenyan champions Gor Mahia have submitted to Confederation of African Football (CAF) a list of twenty five players ahead of preliminary rounds commencing this weekend.
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 for K’Ogalo.
Other newly signed players in the squad include goalkeeper David Robert Mapigano, former Nairobi Stima winger Curtis Wekesa, Tanzanian forward Dickson Ambundo and defender Maurice Ojwang. Stocky forward Kennedy ‘Agogo’ Otieno signed from Western Stima last week has not been registered with the continental custodians of football and may miss the weekend tie against Aigle Noir in Bujumbura, Burundi.
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 forward players K’Ogalo will rely on for goals. Oliech will vie playing time with the three new strikers signed in the current transfer window alongside Nicholas Kipkirui.
Having experienced the rigors 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.
Stand-in coach Patrick Odhiambo who will guide the team in Oktay’s absentia exuded confidence of leading the most successful club in the region to reach its targets. “This team has values and way of doing things. There are also clearly defined targets and expectations which i must work to achieve. I’m confident of steering the club in every tournament and shape the team to produce the desired results. I’m equal to the task,” Odhiambo said last week in training
Gor Mahia will face Aigle Noir next Sunday before hosting the Burundi champions in a fortnight. Winners of the two-legged tie will face the winner between cash strapped USM Alger of Algeria and SONIDEP of Niger.
Goalkeepers: Fredrick Odhiambo, David Mapigano, Boniface Oluoch
Defenders: Wellington Ochieng, Philemon Otieno, Shafik Batambuze, Geoffrey Ochieng, Joachim Oluoch, Joash Onyango, Charles Momanyi, Maurice Ojwang.
Midfielders: Ernest Wendo, Tobias Otieno, Kenneth Muguna, Curtis Wekesa, Boniface Omondi, Lawrence Juma, Samuel Onyango.
Forwards: Dennis Oliech, Nicholas Kipkirui, Dickson Ambundo, Gislain Yikpe Gnamien, Francis Afriyie.