Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay admits the club is struggling to get ‘perfect’ replacements for Rwandan international Jacques Tuyisenge and his Kenyan counterpart Francis Kahata.
Both stars have left the record Kenyan champions after trophy laden careers at the club.
Tuyisenge has joined Angola giants Petro Atletico on a reported Sh15 million transfer fees after three years in Kenya, while Kahata has signed a lucrative two-year deal with Tanzanian giants Simba SC as a free agent.
The Amavubi captain was signed in 2016 as replacement for Michael Olunga and Meddie Kagere before his fellow countryman made a sensational return to form a lethal partnership at K’Ogalo.
But two years later, Kagere moved to Simba SC, leaving Tuyisenge as the key striker at Gor Mahia where he scored over 50 goals in all competitions, inspiring them to the historic Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal showing as well as winning the Sportpesa Premier League three times in a row.
Just like Tuyisenge, Kahata was a vital cog in Gor’s midfield since joining the club in 2015 from Albanian side KF Tirana.
Save for the 2016 season, the former Thika United playmaker has won the league title with K’Ogalo every year.
And having watched some of his seven new recruits; Tobias Otieno, Dennis Oalo, David Mapigano and Dickson Ambundo, Elvis Ronack and Erick Ombija make their debuts at the ongoing Cecafa Kagame Cup here in Rwanda, Oktay said it will be difficult to get Tuyisenge and Kahata’s successors.
The tournament enters the quarterfinal round in Kigali today with Ugandan champions KCCA taking on hosts Rayon Sports while holders Azam battle with African giants TP Mazembe.
Gor will face off with Zambia’s Green Eagles tomorrow as APR tackles AS Maniema.
“Honestly speaking Tuyisenge and Kahata’s exit is a big blow to us. Kahata is a gifted player, who made everyone playing around him better, while Tuyisenge is just a natural striker. We are looking for some options but finding players with such quality on the current transfer market is not easy,” Oktay told Standard Sports.
“Yes, we have made a number of signings, but they need to improve a lot. They still have a long way to go to establish themselves in the team. We hope to get at least one good striker before the new season.
“At the moment as a professional coach, I don’t have an option but use what I have.”
“As for Kahata and Tuyisenge, the club is still strong and will be able to find their replacement.”
“Players come and go, but for a big club like Gor Mahia their history will always remain. I think my time to leave Gor Mahia had arrived and I had to leave. I’m confident they will get better players than us,” said Kahata.
Tuyisenge added: “What I have achieved with Gor Mahia is unmeasurable. Even as I prepare for my new challenge, I feel indebted to Gor Mahia fans and the club itself.”
Gor Mahia have been heavily linked with a move for Rayon Sports forward Jules Ulimwengu.
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