The year 2015 has not been the best for Kenya, what with Harambee Stars failing to live to the billing in at least five tournaments and qualifiers that the Kenyan national team took part in. It was as well the year that Kenya lost the CECAFA title to arch rivals Uganda.
Despite falling short, a number of Kenyan players still had a decent year, both with the national team and their clubs; here’s a lift of the best five.
- Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
Wanyama has been a loyal servant for the Kenya national team in the year, playing all matches for the national team when available and eligible.
The same has been his case with Southampton in the Barclays Premier League, establishing himself as a regular in Ronald Koeman’s team. His defensive attributes in the midfield have made him a target for a number of clubs, Arsenal included.
It is a matter of time before it is seen whether or not he will be staying further at Southampton but for now, he has a place among the best five Kenyan players.
- Johanna Omollo (Royal Antwerp)
Belgium based midfielder Johanna Omollo makes it to the list not just for his dedication to the national team but also his performances for the team and his club, Royal Antwerp.
He has been a regular at the Belgian club and a key player in the team’s rise to the top of the second tier league.
His dedication for the Kenyan national team knows no bounds. Whyereas his mates at the national team declined call ups for not being refunded their air tickets, Johanna religiously showed up and gave a good show for the team.
For his dedication and performance he earns a place among the best five in 2015.
- Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK)
Being sent on loan to second tier side Lierse SK, despite the winger stating clearly he’d like to stay on at Belgian top flight side KRCC Genk did not dampen his spirit, He has already scored four goals for the team this season and established himself as a regular.
A big move is reported to be in the pipeline for him in the summer in 2016 but what places him among the best for Kenya in the year is his performance for the national team when in the team.
He missed two national team fixtures in the year after picking injuries but whenever he was available on the wing he’d terrorize defenders with his pace and trickery. He grabbed a number of assists for Harambee Stars in the year and also a great goal direct from a corner against Mauritius.
- Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia)
Michael Olunga’s story in 2015 is that of the Kenyan poster boy with great performances for both his club Gor Mahia and country.
Olunga scored 39 goals in 2015 for club and country and finished as the second best scorer in the Kenya Premier League (KPL); it will be so hard to leave him out of the best five the season.
He is among the most talked of players for the year in the region and a deal to Europe is said to be in the offing.
- Jesse Were (Tusker)
Jesse Were has had arguably had the best year of his career. The striker broke into the premier league just four years ago but after years of near misses he finally managed to bag the top scorer’s gong with 22 goals in the league and six more for his team in the cup games.
He has generated interest from teams around the continent, including South African top flight side Bidvest Wits.
He scored four hat tricks in the season, three in the league and earns a place among the top five for his contribution to his team.