Kakamega Homeboyz Allan Wanga (R) and Ally Shomari of Tanzania’s Simba battle for ball possession during a Sportpesa Super Cup Semi-final match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on Thursday 07/06/18. [Boniface Okendo, The Standard]

Kakamega Homeboyz striker Allan Wetende Wanga has announced his retirement from active football at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Wanga, who has been appointed in the sports ministry in Kakamega County, said he will hang his boots to concentrate on the job given by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

The prolific star added it was time for the younger generation to take football to the next level and put Kenya on the map.

Surprise move

The decision took his colleagues and coaching staff by surprise as they still wanted him to play for the Kakamega based club for another season.

“Coach Nicholas Muyoti and most of the players were in pain to accept that I will no longer be with them at the end of the season. They still believe I was energetic enough to play for one season,” said Wanga in a statement seen by The Standard Sports.

“I have done my best in the last 13 years or more in top-flight football and I think it is time for me to vacate the scene for young generation.

 “I have achieved what any footballer would desire to achieve in his career. Apart from playing football overseas, I have featured for the national team Harambee Stars for 12 years which I feel it is a big achievement,” the 35-year-old forward added.

Former Harambee Stars’  Allan Wanga in training at Kasarani on October 12, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

Role model

Wanga further thanked the FKF Premier League club, adding he will miss football, the club and their fans.

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“Homeboyz is my second home… I have had a very nice time with the club since joining them. Everybody here from the technical bench, players and fans are too good to deal with. I will miss them dearly,” he said.

According to Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula, the celebrated star has left a memorable mark and Kenyan football in general.

“Many of our fans did not believe when I told them that I was bringing Wanga to the club. He is a player that I had admired a lot and I thank him that he agreed to sign with us,” Shimanyula stated.

On his part, head Coach Nicholas Muyoti noted the club captain has over time helped the team in building confidence especially for young players during crucial matches.

In his career, Wanga has played for Tusker FC, Petro Atletico (Angola), Baku (Azerbaijan), Sofapaka, Leopards and El-Merreikh of Sudan.

Harambee Stars retirement

The celebrated Wanga also opted to retire from active international football (Harambee Stars) after missing an opportunity to represent Kenya in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Although his omission generated a prolonged public outcry, the former Tusker and AFC Leopards striker turned to be one of the most vocal supporters of the team in Egypt.

Kenya were knocked out as the team lead by Sebastien Migne at the time failed to proceed to the round of 16 of the tournament as best losers after Cameroon were held to a barren draw by Benin.

The draw between the Indomitable Lions and the Squirrels slammed the door shut for Stars’ last-16 dream in the tournament for the first time in history, booking an early exit.

Kenyan footballer Allan Wanga with his wife Brenda and children. [David Njaaga, Standard]

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