Like fine wine, Allan Wanga gets better with age

By Gilbert Wandera: Friday, May 17th 2019 at 01:05 GMT +3 | Football
Allan Wanga (right) of Kakamega Homeboyz in league action. [File]

When everyone had written him off, Allan Wanga just seems to be getting better with age.

The Kakamega Homeboyz forward has wormed himself into the national team Harambee Stars squad ahead of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

This is despite expressing a desire to hung his boots from international football a few years ago.

Wanga 33, has seen it all in his long football career and featuring at Africa’s biggest tournament next year will be a good reward for a player who is yet to play at this level despite an impressive performance over the years.

A then-unknown Wanga made his appearance on the national scene in 2007 when he joined Tusker from Kisumu based Lolwe.

That in itself was a major achievement for someone who had made up his mind to be a teacher after almost giving up on football following a series of frustrations from coaches who never wanted to give him a chance.

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But when Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee signed him in 2007, Wanga repaid the faith by emerging the league’s top scorer that season with 21 goals something that threw him into the limelight as everyone took notice of him.

A year later, Wanga joined the big league of African football when he left for Angola and signed for Petro Atletico where he stayed for three years and scored 19 goals in 35 matches.

It was a move that completely changed his life as he began to reap from the economic benefits of having moved to oil and diamond-rich Angola.

After short stints in Eastern Europe with Baku and in Vietnam, Wanga returned home in 2012 to play for his childhood dream club AFC Leopards.  By the time he left in 2014, he had scored 29 goals in 34 matches an impressive performance that saw Sudanese money bags El-Mereikh come calling. After scoring 12 goals at the Sudanese club, he moved closer home to Tanzanian side Azam.

He returned home in 2016 to play for Tusker before his current club Kakamega Homeboyz where he has been having a phenomenal season and is currently the top scorer in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) with 18 goals.

Wanga says a chance of playing in the finals next month is a dream come true and believes he has worked for it.

“I always knew that if merit was to count then I would make it to the squad and I have worked hard for it and now I have to wait to live my dream. Playing at this stage is the ultimate dream of any player. I have been there and done it all and this is what was remaining for me to achieve,” he said.

Wanga is unfazed by Kenya’s opposition at the tournament insisting they can make it to the knock-out stage.

“We are going to get a good result against Senegal and Algeria and make it to the knock-out stage despite their pedigree. We have what it takes to do that,” he said.

Utilities

-Allan Wanga has played 44 times for Harambee Stars scoring 22 goals.

-He was the first Kenyan to play in the Angolan top league.

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