Francis Mustapha joined Gor Mahia from Kiyovu SC in the June transfer window last year, but has since slipped under the radar with his on and off performances. I caught up with him to find out more about the Burundian forward.
Burundi recently made history by qualifying for the African Cup of Nations for the first time, how did that make you feel?
I feel excited about Burundi qualifying for the 2019 African Cup of Nations because it’s the first time for us as a nation so it’s a historic feat in the football of our country.
You went on a long goal drought after scoring against Rayon in the CAF Confederations Cup, how hard was it for you as a striker during that spell?
I don’t think it was really hard but I was doing my best to help the team win and goals come and go, you can’t be sure you will score in each game and we also have quality players at Gor Mahia so when I don’t score and some else scores it helps the team and I’m happy.
Losing 2-0 to RS Berkane at home, do you think Gor Mahia still have a chance of progression to the semis?
We still have a chance of qualifying even though we lost at home we just have to focus and we have confidence that will we will get a result away despite our away form being poor. The game was not the best but we took so much time to settle into the game and we conceded an early goal and I think that is what gave them confidence for the entire game.
When you scored your first goal in the Kagame Cup you celebrated with the "Shaku" dance so did you when you scored against Rayon Sport, recently in Kisumu against Nzoia who celebrated your goal with the Zanku dance. How much do you like music?
I like music so much and when I score there’ s nothing else I think of apart from dancing and I’m usually so happy when I score.
You took some time to adapt at Gor Mahia after a brilliant start in the CECAFA Kagame Cup, how tough was it to settle at the club?
At the start I had built up some form then the scoring touch kinda escaped me but now I think I have regained my earlier form and I’m scoring and even now the coach can see because in Kisumu I played and even against Berkane I played. I’ve really worked on my finishing and I hope I can score a lot of goals until the end of the season.
You have played under Dylan Kerr and Hassan Oktay, how would you compare the two coaches?
The coach cannot really have a huge impact on the player, it’s always up to the player to adapt to the philosophy of the coach because a good player can play under any coach and still perform well. But I would say both of them are good coaches.
Dennis Oliech is a player with vast experience having played in Europe, he recently signed for Gor Mahia, how instrumental is he in the dressing room?
He brings a lot of experience because when you play with him he really offers you advice on the pitch and tells you how to make the runs in the final third and it’s really important for you as a player. When you watch the games I’ve played with him this one was the only one that didn’t really work out well but when we play together upfront we usually link up well but he is a good player who give us a lot of confidence in the team.