Winning a league title is one thing and winning a 17th league title with six matches to spare and over domestic rivals in an exciting derby clash is another thing – a feeling that will last for many years to come.
That’s exactly what Gor Mahia did yesterday at Kasarani after beating AFC Leopards 2-0 in a derby duel that saw the champions pull a double over their opponents to bag their 17th league title – the highest in local football.
Having been involved in many competitions this year, it was a tough season for Gor Mahia that stretched their squad to the limit. A season that needed character and determination from players to achieve what they did and it’s been celebrations all through – within the fan base, in the team and within the club’s management circles.
It’s a feeling that no doubt even the club’s sponsors (SportPesa) share as they sail in the same boat with Gor Mahia fraternity.
The team has done its best, they came, they saw and they conquered. They say there can be no words to express such joyous feelings of winning, but as the players have shown time and again this season – rising to the occasion to conquer, here too they attempt to put words into their feelings.
Below are some of the sentiments expressed by the players after winning the ultimate prize in local football:
“I feel great winning another league title… this is my fourth one and thanks to all players, all fans and stakeholders involved in the team’s success. It was a tough one but we achieved it. Next season will be an uphill task – to replicate what we’ve done this year but we hope all will be well.” – HARON SHAKAVA
“I am very happy to win the league title because this season, it’s been a tough one for us – playing many matches than other seasons. We thank all fans for the big support all through. We will prepare well for next season and we will start it off from where we will end it this year.” – JACQUES TUYISENGE
“It’s a good feeling more-so as a player to win a league title twice and l want to give credit to the management of the club, fans, technical bench and fellow players because we’ve worked as one family – that’s why we’ve been successful since last year. We’ve shown our worth this year and come next season, it’s gonna be lit. We still have a chance in CAF competition and so, making it to the quarters will make it even sweeter.” – PHILEMON OTIENO
“Personally, l thank God and l am very happy that we have won it. I give thanks to the office, playing unit, technical staff not forgetting our beloved strong Gor Mahia supporters. It’s the best moment one can remember being a champion despite it being a season of no rest – I call it so because it has been tough compared to other seasons – many games both domestic and continental games.
“I would also Iike to thank the coach for the relationship, courage and trust he has shown to the players. He has given each and every player an opportunity to showcase his ability – may God bless him. For next season, the first thing will be to see how to improve what we did wrong this season so that we can retain the title – we know the benefits of winning a title, for instance, playing the CAF matches. I hope we will do well in next year’s Champions League.” – INNOCENT WAFULA
“It’s a great feeling because l am part the winning side. Six matches to go and we’ve already done it… this is history made and we hope to continue with the same run next season and even do better. #letsDoItUnbeatenNextseason.” – BERNARD ONDIEK
‘’I am so happy to be part of the winning side in Kenyan football. It’s great to win another title… We hope for more and l know next season will be good.” – KARIM NIZIGIYIMANA
“It wasn’t an easy season. Probably the toughest l have faced as a player in my football career. I want to thank my fellow players for the desire, love and teamwork we’ve shown throughout the entire season. The technical bench has done an amazing job in preparing us and making sure they fielded the best team for each game we played. The management has been brilliant, they did whatever they could to make sure we were well taken care of. Not forgetting our Sponsors SPORTPESA who have always made sure we don’t lack. Last but not least, my big word of thank you goes to the FANS – they are GOR MAHIA. They criticised positively where necessary and made us be on our toes – they are our extra strength and this is their title. Merci Beaucoup. #WeareGORMAHIA – SHABAN ODHOJI
“I am happy to win the title which I was dreaming of. Being at Gor Mahia make things achievable unlike other teams in Kenya… that’s the main reason l joined this team. Now our focus is on the champions league for next season. This year we were unlucky though we are still in Confederation matches. If we prepare well, l can see Gor Mahia going far in Champions League next season.” – CHARLES MOMANYI
‘’It’s my first time to win a league title…. I am very happy and it’s a big and good feeling to be a champion. I have won other medals with other teams but never been a league champion, this is my first league medal – l am happy. l thank God for everything because he has made all these to happen.” – FRANCIS MUSTAFA
“To me, it’s another blessing winning the league title and being part of history with Gor mahia FC… I just give God the glory.” – ERNEST WENDO