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Top 10: Kenyan players of the decade

06:12 GMT+3 24/12/2019
Michael Olunga celebrates goal with Victor Wanyama of Kenya.
Who makes Goal's list of the top 10 Kenyan players of the last 10 years?

  • Duncan Ochieng of Tusker.

    #10 Duncan Ochieng

    Arguably the most outstanding goalkeeper Kenya produced within the last 10 years.

    Although Ochieng has now retired, and is in charge of the goalkeeping training department at Tusker, he achieved a great deal over the last decade, setting him apart from his peers.

    Ochieng won KPL titles with Tusker in both 2011 and 2016, and was part of the Kenyan team which reached the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup finals in 2012 and 2013, when the Stars won a sixth regional title.

    Ochieng served the Kenyan football scene for three decades after making his debut under coach Reinhard Fabisch as a form two student, and had won 60 caps by the time of his 2017 retirement.

  • Harun Shakava of Gor Mahia v John Avire of Sofapaka.

    #9 Harun Shakava

    He became a stand-out player for KPL record winners Gor Mahia after he won five titles with them before leaving for Nkana FC of Zambia at the beginning of the current season.

    Shakava joined the Green Army in 2014 from Kakamega Homeboyz, and won the KPL in his maiden season, before doing it again in 2015, 2017, 2018, and in the 2018/19 seasons.

    The Green Army have won the league title a record 18 times, and Shakava has been a key figure in many of those successes. 

    The towering defender captained Gor Mahia into the Caf Confederation Cup quarter-finals in March 2019, but failed to progress after going down to RS Berkane of Morocco later in April.

    Shakava will forever remain one of Gor Mahia's great defenders and captains of all time.

  • JAMES SITUMA of Mathare United b COLLINS WAKHUNGU of Nzoia Sugar.

    #8 James Situma

    The only captain to have won KPL titles with two different teams in the decade due to his exploits with Sofapaka in 2009 and Tusker in 2016.

    At Sofapaka, Situma enjoyed the greatest successes of his club career, as he also won the FKF President Cup in 2010. The former Mathare United, Nzoia Sugar and Kakamega Homeboyz defender also won the GOTV Shield Cup with the Brewers.

    Situma was also part of the Harambee Stars team which was defeated by Uganda in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in 2012 while James Nandwa was in charge, although Kenya did win it under Adel Amrouche the season afterwards.

     

  • Harambee Stars defender David Owino.

    #7 David Owino

    Owino has played for two top clubs so far in his career; Gor Mahia and Zesco United, and ensured K'Ogalo won the KPL in 2013 after an 18-year wait. He won it again in 2014 before leaving for Zambia at the end of the season.

    Owino played a prominent role in the success of Kenya in the Cecafa tournament in 2012 and 2013 when football was seen as rising in the country, and he got his nickname 'Calabar' due to his superb performance for the national team against Nigeria in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Calabar where Kenya pulled off a 1-1 draw.

    "Kenya is gifted with two top-class defenders; David Owino and David 'Cheche' Ochieng," that was Arnold Origi's statement after the draw, heaping heavy praise on his teammate.

    With Zesco United, Owino lifted the Faz Super League title in 2015, 2017, 2018 and in 2019. He has also won the Copa Barclays in 2016 and the Community Shield Cup in 2015 and 2017 while serving Team Ya Ziko.

     

  • Harambee Stars midfielder Anthony Akumu.

    #6 Anthony Akumu

    The deep-lying midfielder has enjoyed success in the last decade, as he was part of the Gor Mahia team which brought the KPL trophy 'home' in 2013. He also helped the Green Army retain the title in 2014.

    Akumu was in the Kenya squad which fell to Uganda in the Cecafa final game in Kampala in 2012, and was unlucky to have missed out on the 2019 Nations Cup squad.

    He has been a key figure in a Zesco United team which won the league title three times in a row (2017, 2018, 2019) and clinched a swathe of further domestic honours during a successful stint in Zambia.

     

  • Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata v Hussein Dey.

    #5 Francis Kahata

    The offensive midfielder played a pivotal role as Kenya fought to earn a slot in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

    Although Kenya did not impress, Kahata's role was critical in taking the Harambee Stars back to the continental competition after a 15-year wait. He also helped Kenya win the Cecafa Cup in 2013 after faltering the year before.

    The former KF Tirana and Thika United star was a key member of the Gor Mahia team which won the league unbeaten in 2015, helping them win back-to-back titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before leaving for Simba at the start of the 2019/20 season.

     

  • Kakamega Homeboyz striker Allan Wanga.

    #4 Allan Wanga

    Wanga became the only Kenyan to win the Angolan Premier League title with Petro Atletico in 2010 after his three-year stay with them, and was also the hero as the national side won the 2013 Cecafa title.

    On that occasion, the captain struck twice against Sudan to lead by example.

    It was the first time Kenya won the title since 2002, and also came at a time when the country was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

    In 2013, again, Wanga was among the players who led AFC Leopards to lifting the FKF Shield Cup after a three-year wait as he scored against his future club Tusker for Ingwe's 2-0 win.

    Wanga won the KPL title with Tusker in 2016 and scored the only goal which ensured they grabbed the GOTV Shield Cup against Gor to give the Brewers a treble that year.

    He was the joint top scorer in the 2018/19 season with 17 goals alongside Enosh Ochieng of Ulinzi Stars and Umaru Kasumba then serving Sofapaka.

     

  • Jesse Were of Zesco United.

    #3 Jesse Were

    After winning the KPL Golden Boot in 2015 with 22 goals for Tusker, Were carried his good form to Zesco United where he won the accolade again.

    In 2017, the former Mathare United striker won a debut Zesco United Best Player Award after the 2017/18 season as well as retaining the Golden Boot. He had scored 23 competitive goals for Team Ya Ziko in that campaign.

    At the end of the 2018 season, he became Zesco United's all-time top scorer with 65 goals. He was also key as the Ndola-based outfit lifted league trophies in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as the Community Shield in 2017.

     

  • Michael Olunga of Kenya celebrates goal with John Avire.

    #2 Michael Olunga

    Olunga has risen fast in his career both at the club and national team levels. He left a mark in the Afcon 2019 qualifiers as one of his goals helped Kenya down Ethiopia 3-0 in Nairobi.

    In Egypt, the forward got two goals against Tanzania to help Kenya complete a 3-2 comeback in Group C's last match. 

    At club level, Olunga's notable achievement came when he grabbed a hat-trick for Girona in a span of 22 minutes against Las Palmas during his debut for the Spanish club last year. He is both the first Kenyan star and the first Girona player to score a hat-trick in La Liga.

    During the 2019/20 season with Kashiwa Reysol, the former Thika United striker netted 27 goals and finished with only one goal fewer than the league's top scorer Leonardo Souza.

    Olunga grabbed his first hat-trick in Japan against Renofa Yamaguchi before getting on the scoresheet against Kyoto Sanga seven times as Kashiwa Reysol won the league title and returned to J2 League.

    Kenya's memorable 1-1 draw against Egypt in Group G's Afcon 2021 qualifier on November 14 helped cement his place in Harambee Stars books of history.

     

  • Victor Wanyama and Michael Olunga of Harambee Stars.

    #1 Victor Wanyama

    Wanyama became the second Kenyan to reach the final of the Uefa Champions League when Tottenham Hotspur defeated Ajax to progress to the ultimate stage for the first time in their history earlier this year.

    Although Spurs were beaten by Liverpool, and Wanyama did not feature in the showpiece, it remains a moment to savour, coming nine years after his sibling McDonald Mariga won the title with Internazionale.

    Wanyama scored his first Spurs goal in his home debut against Crystal Palace in 2016, becoming the 138th different star to score for the London side, and quickly won over the fans after arriving from Southampton.

    Wanyama made his debut for the Saints in August 2013, and he would go on to help them finish sixth, with 66 points, in the 2015/16 season.

    During his time at Celtic, Wanyama unforgettably netted against Barcelona when his 21st-minute header was too powerful for Victor Valdes to stop in a Champions League match in November 2012 in Glasgow.

    Wanyama was also a key figure as Kenya battled past Sierra Leona, Ghana and Ethiopia to book an Afcon slot in 2019 - their first appearance since 2004 - even if he didn't leave his mark on the tournament in Egypt.