Yanga and Harambee Stars goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo has admitted that earning big bonuses on their way to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt was a major motivation for the players.
With each player in the squad assured of atleast Sh.750,000 Shikalo said the money has changed their lives forever.
“Since I start playing football, I have never received such an amount of money. And I don’t think that applies to myself only. We were lucky to have been those who have earned the highest amount of bonuses ever while representing the national team” he said.
Shikalo said the money helped him finish the construction of his mother’s house which had stalled for sometime.
“When you get such kind money, you want it to make a difference and to remember the occasion. For me, it helped me finish off a number of projects and one of them was to complete the construction of my mother’s house,” he explained.
He added:”I want to thank Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the ministry of sports for making this possible and I hope the remaining part of the bonus can be sorted out quickly.”
Shikalo is also grateful for the high level training the team had in France prior to the tournament in Egypt.
“It was a big motivation to train in France and play the build-up matches we did against Mauritius and Congo and personally, I want to have another opportunity to once again qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals but this time be able to play.
“There are many opportunities every time a team qualifies for such a major tournament. First of all, there are a lot of agents following teams and so it gives us a platform to showcase our talent.”
Shikalo also admitted that he took long to join Yanga due to the fact that he had a lot of offers on the table and needed to make up his mind where to go.
“Before Yanga, there were clubs in Zambia chasing my signature. That is why I declined to go in the first year as I needed time to make up my mind. There was also interest in Dubai and all these had to be considered,” he said.
Having joined Yanga, the former Bandari goalkeeper says he is yet to settle but is working hard to be able to play consistently.