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Home Uncategorized The Making Of Luanda Villa, NSL Newbies “Marching To Kenyan Premier League”

The Making Of Luanda Villa, NSL Newbies “Marching To Kenyan Premier League”

Luanda Villa FC who made their National Super League (NSL) debut this season have so far impressed, beating the underdog notion to give their competitors a run for their money, so far.

by Sleuth 411
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Luanda Villa FC who made their National Super League (NSL) debut this season have so far impressed,  beating the underdog notion to give their competitors a run for their money, so far.

However, their journey to the second biggest football league in Kenya has been a whole rollercoaster, of nearly two decades.

Luanda Villa hailing from Vihiga County’s Luanda, play their matches at Mumboha Sports Ground and despite financial challenges that have bedeviled many teams in top, second and lower tier leagues, have beaten all odds to win the confidence of their fan base.

By time of writing of this account, Luanda Villa had lost only one game in the NSL, making eight draws while winning five games into the mid season to sit in the seventh position with 23 points.

The Tom Tera led team has seen it all, breaking two times since inception in 1996 before some football lovers in Luanda came to its rescue in 2019.

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Moses Abwenje, the current club’s chairman is proud to be among those who bore the vision of starting the team with the view of tapping and nurturing football talents among the locals, while curbing evils associated with idleness.

Abwenje recalls how a CECAFA Club Championship in 1996 held in Kisumu City inspired change of name for the Mumboha based team that was then known as Nyuki FC.

“Very many Ugandan football fans flooded Luanda on their way to Kisunu escorting Uganda Villa. We were fascinated with the scene the Ugandan fans created at Luanda town, the branding in support of their club (Uganda Villa. It was after the scene that Fina Manoa, a major stakeholder proposed that we adopt the Villa name in 1996,” Abwenje recalled.

And, there was no looking back. Luanda Villa under the stewardship coach Peter Okeng’a, who would later on serve as mayor of Luanda, joined then Western Zone A KFF League that brought together teams from Western, Nyanza and North Rift provinces.

Joel Okonji was the Secretary General; Francis Okwatsa the Chairman, Caleb Temba Amaswache the Vice Chair and Milton Ombuya took the Treasurer as the new journey began.

“We fought for the title in vain, but emerged sixth as Western Stima and Chemelil Sugar were promoted to the Kenya Premier League before troubles began pounding on the Villa camp in 1998,” Abwenje remembered.

“In that year, Mumias Sugar and AFC Leopards showed interest in Francis Chinjili and Jack Ayimbo who were our key strikers. Luanda Villa management wanted Sh. 0.2 million to release the players and before we could ink the deal Mumias Sugar capitalized on our ‘ignorance’ of the then Kenya Football Federation Rules to acquire Chinjili and Ayimbo directly from Kakamega High School,” Abwenje narrated.

“The transfer of the two players left cracks in the management with our patron David Alinyo pulling out in protest, thinking we had been given the money and utilized for private purposes,” added Abwenje.

Luanda Villa would still participate in local tournaments even after the setback and Sh. 500,000 won in a Muchilwa Cup in 2002 further split the team.

“Luanda Villa played in the Muchilwa Cup finals at Esirabe Grounds against Anagwe FC. We couldn’t go into extra time after a 1-1 stalemate during the regulation time because it was late, Sheldon Muchilwa who was Emuhaya MP awarded us equally. Players demanded all the money contrary to our management’s wish to save Sh. 20,000 for official use. We heeded the players’ call and that was the end of Luanda Villa!” Abwenje regretted.

Fast forward. Financial tribulations of a Busia based Wolves FC worked as a blessing in disguise to Luanda Villa who replaced Wolves in the Division Two League in 2019, as Tera took the reins of then just revived Villa.

According to Abwenje, Steve Munala was to scout for players from secondary schools, with some of best players from Emusire High School and Ebwali Secondary getting slots in Villa under coach Tera, who had been dropped from Vihiga United as the assistant coach.

“We got a new patron in 2019, the late Sylvanus Asanga who alongside Steve Munala requested us we revive Luanda Villa before we heard that Wolves were struggling and we quickly seized the slot. We worked hard into Division One, failed once but a second time emerged champions earning the National Super League slot.

“My target is promotion to the Premier League. If fans and well-wishers will come together to help us address the needs of the playing unit, this is a realistic dream,” stated Abwenje, admitting that go-slows in the team have always been as a result of delayed allowances.

He feels that their run in the current campaign would have been far much better, without the financial constraints.

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