- The match is a duel between winners of the league and Cup
- Gor Mahia have only played low profile friendly matches
- Kakamega Homeboyz are preparing for the CAF Confederation Cup
FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia and FKF Cup winners Kakamega Homeboyz will clash on Saturday in the season-opening Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Charity Shield match at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.
The duel is a clash between both title winners, acting as the curtain raiser to the new season which kicks off on August 26.
Gor Mahia lost the last title on penalties to Tusker FC and will be looking to open their season with victory, despite having a quiet pre-season. K’Ogalo head coach Jonathan McKinstry will be looking to get his season started on a perfect note.
Gor have kept their pre-season training low profile, but will hope the match against Cup winners Homeboyz will offer them a good picture of how well the team is prepared for the new season, as it is both a friendly and competitive match.
“The Charity Shield is a hybrid of both with a trophy on the line. The players want to win and collect medals and so it will offer an extra incentive,” noted the tactician.
He expects a tough duel from Homeboyz who beat them twice last season, 1-0 in the FKF Cup, which they went on to win and 3-2 in a league encounter late on in the season.
Been one of the best teams
McKinstry admits that the Kakamega based side has been one of the best teams in the league the last two years, and knows it will not be a walk in the pack in the season-opening duel.
“It has always been close between the two of us and the games have been decided by fine margins. Homeboyz of course will not be an easy opponent because over the last two or so years, they have shown their worth,” the tactician noted.
The game will offer a huge importance to Homeboyz, who are preparing for their debut in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Homeboyz host Libya’s Al Ahli Benghazi in the first leg of the preliminary round in Nairobi next weekend and playing against Gor a week before that duel will be a perfect platform for coach Patrick Odhiambo to weigh his side’s readiness.
Homeboyz ready for the challenge
Homeboyz have also played against Ugandan side Kampala City Council Authority in Uganda in another friendly match, losing 2-0 but picking immense lessons
Coach Odhiambo says his side is ready for Gor and have their eyes firmly fixed on next weekend’s tie against the Libyans.
“It will be a good game for us of course because we want to see how ready we are for the task ahead. Gor is a good opponent and you could see with how close our games were last season,” the tactician noted.
Homeboyz haven’t been much active in the transfer market, and have retained hope in most players who carried them through the second half of last season. Coach Odhiambo believes the synergy already achieved will be a huge asset as they go in not only to the Continental debut, but also domestic campaign.