Shakava vows to see out deal

By Rodgers Eshitemi, in Kigali, Rwanda: Friday, July 19th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia FC captain Harun Shakava during 15th Edition of Total Confederation African Football Cup match against Young African FC at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava is prepared to see out his contract at the record Kenyan champions despite interest from other top clubs within and outside the country.

Though the lanky centre half, who joined Gor in 2014 from Kakamega Homeboyz, has received a number of offers including SportPesa premier league returnees Wazito, Tanzanian giants Yanga and Zambia's Zanaco, he is willing to dig in his heels and see out the remaining six months of his contract at K'Ogalo.

Shakava, who is arguably one of the most decorated players in Gor's history after recently captaining them to their third league title in a row, is still less clear about his future when the contract expires in December.

The defender was part of the team that was sent packing from the ongoing Cecafa Kagame Cup here in Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday after losing 2-1 to Zambian side Green Eagles in the quarter-final.

"It's true I have received a number of offers within and outside the country, but I am not keen on leaving Gor Mahia now. I still have a running contract with the club and it would be important to see it out," Shakava told Standard Sports.

"I know in football, things happen so fast but let's just wait for the contract to expire then see what follows. But if indeed the teams interested in me are serious, let them first engage my current club."

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Shakava's imminent departure would be an enormous blow to the side that has already lost two of its star players.

Rwandan international Jacques Tuyisenge has joined Angola giants Petro Atletico on a reported Sh15 million transfer fee while midfield maestro Francis Kahata has signed a lucrative two-year deal with Tanzanian giants Simba SC as a free agent.

Commenting on his side's shocking defeat to the Eagles in the Kagame Cup quarter-final, Shakava said: "We worked hard and the commitment from the players was there, but two defensive mistakes cost us the match. All the same, this was a good pre-season tournament for the team ahead of the new season.

"We clearly missed the experience of Kahata and Tuyisenge as well as the other regular players who were left back home. When you want to win such tournaments, you must have your best players."

Head coach Hassan Oktay says complacency and lack of quality players contributed to their exit from the regional tournament that enters the semi-final stage in Kigali today.

Ugandan champions will take on Green Eagles at 4 pm before paving way for the second semi-final between holders Azam and AS Maniema at 7 pm.

"I was not pleased with the boys' performance but I don't think we deserved to leave the tournament. We underestimated Green Eagles and unfortunately, they punished us from our mistakes. We didn't have enough quality in the final third," said Oktay.

"Interestingly as the head coach, I have never signed a single player at Gor Mahia. I found them here. The defeat was a wake-up call to us and we now need to shift focus to the champions league and the premier league."

Today's Kagame Cup semifinals' fixtures

KCCA v Green Eagles-Kigali (4 pm)

Azam v AS Maniema-Kigali (7 pm)

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