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Hassan Oktay: Gor Mahia should keep players for successful Champions League season

09:17 BST 26/05/2019
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay with KPL Trophy.
Oktay believes a united Gor Mahia will successfully challenge in the continental competition in the 2019/20 season

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title-winning coach Hassan Oktay has pleaded with the Gor Mahia board to keep the players rumoured to be on their way out.

Jacques Tuyisenge, captain Harun Shakava and Francis Kahata are the players whose contracts are nearing the end, and all of them have been linked with other clubs in recent weeks.

Speaking to the press after being crowned KPL kings again on Saturday, Oktay said that he has spoken to the club's hierarchy on the importance of said players, particularly if they are to have a successful Caf Champions League campaign.

"I hope I will make a massive difference next season if I will still be here and there are rumours that two players might leave but I have told the chairman and the committee that if they keep them, we will have a great Caf Champions League campaign," Oktay said.

"Gor Mahia as a family should stick together, have the believe and for the record, the passion is there in this team. The fans are the most important part of this team, they are great in every aspect."

The Cypriot-Turkish tactician also spoke about the factors which shaped the Green Army's successful title defence.

"I feel great and fantastic to win this league despite the pressure that we found ourselves under. People had a lot of expectations on this team and that, of course, brings pressure and you can remember that there was no mid-season break." Oktay added.

"What I did was to find the strengths of my team and of course weaknesses then work very hard on and off the pitch.

"I took the time to explain to them my football philosophy and I was very impressed by the connection I had with these players from the word go."

Gor Mahia defended the KPL title with two games to spare, and will clash with the 2008 champions Mathare United in the season-ender next week.