•The 35-year-old father of two, who comes from a football background, said his football career was through sheer hard work and determination.
•His football journey started at the Kisumu-based National Super League club FC Lolwe in 2005 where he stayed for only three months as the league was being revamped.
Allan Wanga’s dream of playing in the Uefa Europa League for Azerbaijan Premier League side FC Baku was not realised after he failed to obtain a work permit.
Wanga had secured a two-year contract with FC Baku which ended on December 31, 2009. Born on November 26, 1985, Wanga started his football career in Kisumu, where he played for various age level clubs within the county, including the now obsolete Fifa Kingdom.
After his KCPE results, he joined St Paul’s High School, Shikunga in Butere, Kakamega county, where he continued to pursue his dream in football.
However, the school didn’t have a good record in football within the region as compared to other schools that were heavily dominating the sporting sector.
The 35-year-old father of two, who comes from a football background, said his football career was through sheer hard work and determination.
His dad, who played for AFC Leopards, Kisumu Posta and Harambee Stars in the 70s and 80s helped nurture his talent and push him to his current form.
“My dad Frank Wetende was a footballer as well and he is the one who was motivating my playing skills at large,” he said.
Apart from his dad, other people who helped him grow in his career were George Sunguti and Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee all who held his hand at the start of his professional journey.
He cited former Kenya and ex-Inter Milan Midfielder McDonald Mariga and former French international striker Thierry Henry as his role models in the sport.
Initially, Wanga would have preferred going into teaching or pursuing a career in the armed forces in line with his mum’s wish.
Wanga, who lost his mother in 2015 due to intestinal cancer, says she wanted him to be a teacher but that didn’t materialise for him.
“Currently if I am given a chance, I would continue with my football career despite all challenges on the ground,” he added.
Wanga says he would in future choose to work with young people to nurture and sharpen their talents as a way of giving back to society.
His football journey started at the Kisumu-based National Super League club FC Lolwe in 2005 where he stayed for only three months as the league was being revamped.
“The league was being revamped and they had to close it first, so I had to move somewhere else and that’s how I landed in Agrochemical FC,” Wanga said.
The former Harambee Stars striker said his move to Agrochemical FC didn’t materialise after he met with a series of threats from Agrochemical players who feared he would replace them in the team by then.
“So with threats on the ground, I felt like there is no need for me to continue being there I went home with a mind set to join the military,” Wanga cited.
“When the recruitment came, I failed the military test and got a chance at Sher Karuturi, another Kenyan top-flight club,” he added.
While waiting for a contract, Wanga joined his brother Richard Malaki in Nairobi who had promised him a job in Canada which didn’t also materialise. He stayed there for almost a year without a club before Lolwe FC contacted him in 2006.
He was later signed by premier league club Tusker FC early in 2007, where he made 23 appearances, scoring 21 goals to help the club secure the Kenya Premier league title.
After winning the title with Tusker FC in 2007, Wanga moved to Angolan side, club Petro Atletico turning down an offer from a Swedish Club in the process. He guided Petro to their first ever Angolan Premier League title (Girabola).
In January 2010, Wanga moved to Azerbaijan club FC Baku for six months on a renewable contract on yearly basis.
“After winning the cup with Azerbaijani, my hopes of renewing the contract with Baku FC failed,” Wanga said.
Wanga later moved to Georgian side, Rustavi Olompi but the deal failed to take off after Baku failed to give him a work permit.
He later travelled to Vietnam to sign a contract with Hoàng Anh Gia Lai on December 2, 2010 in the Vietnamese Super League, where he played for two seasons making 22 appearances with 14 goals.
Wanga later joined AFC Leopards on a loan deal in 2012 and he later sealed the deal with the Ingwe in November after the end of the season. Wanga further moved to Al-Merrikh of Sudan in June 2014 on one-year deal from Ingwe.
On July 21, 2015, Wanga agreed to a one-year contract with Tanzanian club Azam FC, making 11 appearances with only three goals.
After a stint with Azam FC, Wanga found his way back to his former Club Tusker FC in 2016, where he came in as a substitute for Michael Khamati, where they drew with Chemelil Sugar 2-2.
Wanga’s introduction match for the national team happened on May 27, 2007 in a friendly match against Nigeria. In December 2007, he scored his first international goal in Kenya’s 2-1 loss to Tanzania at the 2007 Cecafa Cup.
In 2019, Wanga retired from international football, a move that left most of his fans in shock. There had been rumours that he made the move after failing to secure a position in the Afcon squad despite being the best scorer in Kenya’s KPL, which he denied saying instead, it was the right time for him to quit and leave space for the upcoming talents.
His best moment as a player came when he led Kenya ‘A’ national team to win the Cecafa tournament. “During the 50th Jamhuri Day celebrations here at home, that’s the time we won that trophy,” Wanga said.
“Worst Moments as a player was being dropped from the Harambee Stars team that took part in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt,” he added. He also cited failing to secure a work permit after securing a deal in Azerbaijani as the other.
Wanga, who is currently serving as sports officer for Kakamega County, is still active on the ground playing for Kakamega Homeboyz FC.
BIOGRAPHY FOR WANGA.
Name: Allan Wetende Wanga.
AGE: 35 born 26 November 1985
Status: Married, with two kids.
Clubs played for.
2005-2006: Lolwe FC Kisumu.
2008: 201o Petro Atletico of Angola.
2010: FK Baku
2011-2013: Hoaing Anh Gia Lai of Vietnam.
2012: (Loan) on AFC Leopard.
2013-2014: AFC Leopards
2014-2015: Almerrikh of Sudan.
2015-2016: Azam FC of Tanzania
2018-to date: Kakamega homeboyz
2007-2015: Making 44 appearances with 22 goals