NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31- New Gor Mahia midfielder Humphrey Mieno has picked out success in the CAF Champions League as his biggest target heading into a three-year contract with the record 16-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions.
Mieno made his competitive debut in the green and white of K’Ogalo on Sunday during the club’s 1-0 win over arch rivals AFC Leopards in the KPL Super Cup and he believes the positive start with silverware is a sign of good things to come.
“It feels great to join Gor because it is a big team with quality players and ambitions and making my debut on a winning start was great. Hopefully, we can keep this going especially in the CAF Champions League where I hope we can get to the group stages,” Mieno told Capital Sport.
Mieno has been a long term target for Gor but the club just failed to get his services especially while he was at Sofapaka. After being released by Tusker at the close of last season, K’Ogalo pounced and got their man.
“I feel happy to be here and so far it has been very positive. I am still learning my new team-mates and I want us to do great things together. Winning the league is also a priority but right now it is just taking a game at a time,” the creative midfielder noted.
Mieno’s impact has made Gor feel safe especially after the departure of Kenneth Muguna who re-united with former coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira in Albania and he was aptly given a standing ovation when he came off in the 75th minute against AFC.
Meanwhile, head coach Dylan Kerr says he is happy with the new headache he has picking out a perfect starting 11 from a very rich squad that is endowed with depth.
“It is a very good problem for me because now no one can afford to sleep. Everyone knows their position can be taken by anyone else. It is now up to them to fight for the jersey and show me they want to play for K’Ogalo,” the coach said.
He praised his new players for their performance last Sunday but notes he expects more from them especially with a potentially long season awaiting them.
-Gor seek to CAF CL start on a high-
Gor begin their league title defence at home to Nakumatt FC on Saturday before swinging their attention to the Champions League tie against Equatorial Guinea champions Leones Vegetarianos.
Success in the Champions League preliminary round will earn them a ticket to the first round where they face the winner between ASAC Concorde of Mauritania and Tunisia’s Esperance. A win here will earn them a Group Stage berth.
Even with a loss, Gor will still have a second chance to earn a shot at the continental group stages as they will drop to a play off in the Confederations Cup.
“It is going to be a very tough season and we have to be prepared to give our all. Nakumatt is a very tough team and they should give us a challenge which will prepare us well for Continental Football. We just need to give our best,” Kerr added.
The tactician said he was pleased to start the season with some silverware and remain unbeaten in pre-season. Among the high profile teams they have beaten in their four-week training period is Ugandan champions Kampala City Council Authority who they beat 4-2.
They also played against fellow Premier League side Posta Rangers who were also camping in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru.