The Mashemeji rivals have been regularly linked to same players over the previous windows and the chair has now confirmed that that rivalry exits
The two clubs were interested in Jules Ulimwengu before the forward finally signed for Gor Mahia and Shikanda, claiming their arch-rivals are “noisy neighbours”, said AFC Leopards will not follow a transfer approach like their rivals.
“Of course, there is no team in the Premier league that is not recruiting and it is only that our neighbours [Gor Mahia] are a bit noisy and want everything to be out there,” Shikanda told Bonga Futaa Online TV.
“We are never following them wherever they go but it is the other way round; they would follow us wherever we go. And if you look at the case now, the players we have been chasing, it is very interesting because they have also been chasing them.
“We are liking chasing the same players. The rivalry extends even to players it is not about the rivalry on the pitch alone.
“They have won some and we have won others but I can assure you of a very interesting Premier League come this season pegged on the recruitment and the small sponsorship that we have.
“Remember both teams never had any money last season as Gor Mahia lost about KSh68 million whereas we lost about KSh57 million when the sponsor walked away. It was another competition, we lost and they lost.”
The chair further revealed why some of their transfer targets joined Gor Mahia instead of signing for Ingwe.
“Recruitment has been very hot over these [new] players but they had a slight advantage because they are playing in the continental and a few players made a decision to go there because of that,” Shikanda added.
The retired Ingwe and K’Ogalo star further revealed the measures taken to ensure they did not lose players as free agents during the 2019/20 season due to delayed payments.
“I sat down with my players and told them that we are in a crisis and as the management, we would do the best that we can to ensure they are slightly comfortable,” he concluded.
“When you tell a young father that you are playing for AFC leopards and I will not be able to pay you, it is very difficult. But I can tell you I have a very good crop of players because they heard us and we walked together.
“It is the most difficult year I have ever had in my many years.”
AFC Leopards were expected to unveil new players last week but instead unveiled their home kit for the new season.