PARIS, France, Jun 18 – Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata is set to leave the club after his contract comes to an end at the close of this month, and the former Thika United man says he exits as a proud man.
With Gor Mahia, the playmaker who joined in from Thika United has won the Kenyan Premier League title every year since he came in apart from 2016 when they lost it to Tusker after being docked three points for crowd trouble.
This year, he was a key member of the team that saw Gor progress to the quarter finals of the CAF Confederations Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
“I believe I have done my job well here at the club together with my teammates. Gor has been like my second home since leaving Thika and I believe that I have given them my best in all those three years we have won the title back to back,” Kahata told Capital Sports.
He added; “I still believe that it is a good team with good players and they are capable of retaining the title in the new season as well and doing well in the CAF competitions.
The creative midfielder has been a subject of interest from Tanzanian giants Simba SC with several North African clubs also circling around for his signature.
He was on the verge of leaving the club at the start of last season for Algerian outfit CS Constantine but the deal fell through in the last minutes. Kahata has previously also had a short stint with Albanian side KF Tirana before returning home to Thika United.
But, he says he will not make a decision on his future just yet, but will do so after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which kicks off on July 21 in Cairo, Egypt.
Kahata is in Kenya’s 23-man squad for the competition and will be expected to play a starting role having been a core part of the team that qualified.
“It is such an honor being in this squad because there are so many players who were competing. Focus now for me is to do well for the team. It is prestigious being in the AFCON for the first time in 15 years and as a team, we will go out there to do our best,” Kahata commented.
“I could say this is a dream come true for me to be in this squad. We have tried and failed before but this time, we got it right,” he further stated.
Stars have been camping in Paris, France at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis for the last three weeks and will travel to Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday evening ahead of the tournament’s opening ceremony on Friday.
The midfielder says the camp in France has done them a world of good and believes the team leaves for France a better side.
“Training has been great and everyone is happy. The facilities that are here are world class and our minds have been focused because everyone knows what we want as a team. Everyday has been a learning process and we also thank the Federation for ensuring as players, everything is catered for,” Kahata notes.
Kenya is pooled in Group C with Senegal, Algeria and neighbors Tanzania, and the team has a minimum target of getting to the round of 16, something Kahata believes it is a possibility.
“It is a very tough group but if we can get points from Senegal and Algeria, I believe that will place us at a prime position to get to the round of 16. I believe we have a very good team and we have built a strong outfit to enable us achieve what we have set out to do,” he added.
He has asked fans to rally behind the team at their AFCON campaign and promised they will repay their loyalty with success at the tournament.
“I thank the fans for sticking with us all through from the qualifiers. All players who will get a chance to play at AFCON will give their best knowing they are representing the over 40million Kenyans. We want to give the fans something to be happy about,” Kahata noted.