Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo relishes CAF Champions League pressure ahead of draw

Austin Odhiambo (center) jubilantly celebrates with teammates after a victorious match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, in the FKF Premier League. © Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo relishes CAF Champions League pressure ahead of draw

Festus Chuma 17:00 - 22.06.2024

The record Kenyan champions are returning to continental competitions after missing last season due to a revoked Club Licensing Certificate.

Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo has voiced his excitement and determination as the team prepares for the 2024/2025 CAF Champions League qualifiers.

The Kenyan champions secured their spot in Africa's premier club competition by clinching the FKF Premier League title.

Last season, despite being league champions, Gor Mahia were sidelined from the tournament following the revocation of their Club Licensing Certificate.

This season marks a significant comeback, with Odhiambo highlighting the importance of the competition for personal and team growth.

"As players, we want to compete among the best. It will be a challenge for us, but it's beneficial to play against teams from other countries, as it allows us to feel the pressure," Odhiambo expressed.

The former AFC Leopards midfielder believes that facing international teams will not only test their skills but also enhance their performance and confidence which is crucial for progressing in the tournament.

"This challenge will improve us more and build our confidence for the next round of the competition. As players, we are ready for it. Personally, I like playing many matches to improve myself. We will push until the end," he added.

The anticipation builds as the draw for the preliminary round is expected to be announced next week, which will reveal their next opponent.

The preliminary matches are slated for August 16–18 setting the stage for what promises to be an exhilarating contest.

In preparation for the upcoming challenges, Gor Mahia will participate in the CECAFA Kagame Cup 2024, scheduled from July 6-22nd in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Following this, the team will travel to Nigeria for the inaugural Coal City International Cup, taking place from August 1, 2024, in Enugu.

Gor Mahia's return to the CAF Champions League is not just significant for the club but also marks a milestone in the tournament's history, which has seen substantial growth over the past few seasons.

This growth can be attributed to the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) increased investment in broadcast technology and a strategic emphasis on global marketing to elevate the competition's profile on the world stage.

Egypt’s Al Ahly won the last championship in a fierce battle against Esperance de Tunis of Tunisia.

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