It is every footballer’s dream to play at the highest level possible at some point in their careers. For many Kenyan footballers, the Kenya Premier League, now the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) is that place.
We have seen many players become household names in the league with many of them lucky to seal moves abroad. So what then happens if a move abroad does not seem possible? What happens if your dream of even remaining in the topflight league is cut short?
Well, such is the situation Vincent Wanga finds himself him in. Having had a dream of one day plying his trade in Kenya’s Premier League, the midfielder is now without a club after seeing the side he played for-Chemelil Sugar FC- close shop.
Wanga is among players who got messages from the club’s management informing them that it was no longer interested in participating in football at any levels whatsoever. He has now returned to train with Kisumu All Stars as he hopes for a change of fortunes in the near future.
But just how did Wanga get here?
This South Eastern Kenya University graduate knew he wanted to be a footballer from a very young age. It is however at Ngere high school that his passion for the game was highly manifested. He troubled defenders and scored loads of goals across different school games.
In campus, he was the school captain and soon after graduating, he joined Bungoma All Stars in the Western Division Two.
“I engaged fully into professional football after I graduated from campus. That’s when the real journey began. I had to take a long route to Bungoma to feature for Bungoma All-stars in Western Zone Division Two” Wanga told Sportsplugke during an exclusive interview.
“After one good season, I made a switch back home to Kisumu Hotstars and played in the Division One. We had a good team and most of the players are now in the top flight. We could not achieve our mission of promotion to the National Super League (NSL) due to financial constraints” he added.
Wanga started from the bottom and in his mind, he knew that his destination will be the Kenya Premier League. After a great season with Hotstars, he found wings to fly to Kisumu All Stars, popularly known as ‘Otenga’. He was part of the team that helped earn the Nyanza based side promotion to the KPL but was later dropped after the successful campaign in the NSL that saw Otenga finish 2nd behind champions Wazito FC.
Wanga’s hopes of dining with the likes of Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were shuttered. This was however the beginning of another bitter-sweet journey for him.
“The following season I made a switch from Hotstars to Kisumu Allstars. My main achievement at ‘Otenga’ was being part of the team that helped it earn its Maiden promotion to the topflight. I was also privileged to be part of the Betika organized cup that was graced by Brazilian Legend Ronaldihno. Football has its highs and lows and my lowest moment is when I realized I was not part of the team to participate in the KPL. I was simply dropped with no Valid reason” he stated.
With his door of joining the KPL closed at Allstars, another window of opportunity opened for Wanga and this time it was with the millers, Chemelil Sugar FC.
“The transfer deadline was fast approaching when I got a call to join Chemelil sugar FC, also in the KPL. I took the turn of events positively and left ‘Otenga’ with a good heart to my new home not knowing it could turn out to be my best season”.
“In my debut season in the topflight I bagged 3 goals and finished as the top scorer in our team even though I played a few games due to recurring ankle injury”.
Wanga enjoyed a great run of form at Chemelil where he was also the assistant captain and despite the financial constraints that rocked the side, he was always looking forward to the next match and what the future holds.
“Though we had our own share of problems at Chemelil, I enjoyed the form of my life” he said.
Chemelil was later relegated from the KPL after dishing out three walkovers. The club was unable to honour a number of games with this compelling KPL through then CEO Jack Oguda to crack the whip.
With a new season fast approaching, Wanga and his teammates had already gotten used to the fact that they will ply their trade in the National Super League. This will however not happen as Chemelil is now disbanded.
Also Read: Chemelil Sugar FC Officially Disbanded
Wanga had loved life at Chemelil despite all the tribulations there. An offer came for him from a FKFPL side but he took long to decide on his next move.
“It was shocking that my team was disbanded when we were preparing to resume training for the NSL season. I had an offer from one KPL outfit but I delayed to respond because my mind was fixed on remaining at Chemelil after all the good things we were told”.
“When I later went to train with the team (the FKFPL side) some few days to the closure of the transfer window, it was too late to be absorbed hence the coach told me to come back mid-season” he said.
What’s next for Wanga and his former teammates at Chemelil FC? He admits that he has been negatively affected by the decision to disband Chemelil but remains hopeful for a better future.
“It has not been the same after Chemelil was disbanded because it has affected me psychologically. I am keeping fit with my former team- Kisumu Allstars hoping everything will settle and all goes well” he concluded.