All of us thought Allan Wanga’s career as a footballer was over when he was appointed as County Sports Director by Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya in January last year.
“I don’t even look at myself as a coach but just a leader,” Wanga said after he was appointed an interim Kakamega Homeboyz Manager in January this year. And what a leader he has been? His 17 goals have propelled the team to the 4th position on the KPL log. Wanga is also the top scorer in the league.
And Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne has awarded his good form with a place in the 30 man Preliminary Afcon Squad that was revealed on Wednesday.
Wanga will be one of the senior players when stars jet out to Egypt for their first tournament in 15 years. And he knows he will play a second role go that of lead striker Michael Olunga, the man who has dazzled Kashiwa Reysol fans this season.
Wanga made his debut for the national team against Nigeria in 2007, the same time as a certain 15-year-old Victor Wanyama. He was also the top scorer in his first season in the KPL scoring 21 goals for Jacob Mulee’s Tusker FC.
He later joined Angolan side Petro Atletico, where he replaced Manchester United bound Manucho. He played an integral role for the club, winning two league titles with them.
Wanga’s inclusion in the team comes at the expense of ZESCO United’s Jesse Were who has been frozen out from the squad in recent times. Despite shining for the Zambian giants, Were has never scored a goal for the national team.
Wanga, on the other hand, is credited with scoring 22 goals for the national team including a sublime header in the 2013 Cecafa finals, a goal that ensured Kenya won the tournament for the first time since 2002.
Wanga will also bring a winning mentality to an untested Stars side, having won the KPL twice with Tusker; in 2007 and 2016.
Away from football, Wanga graduated with a Dipoma in Human Resource Management from the University of Nairobi in December last year. He is married to NTV Journalist Brenda Wanga.