Copa U19: St Anthony, Dagoreti dominate Team of the Tournament

Goalkeeper- Daniel Wamalwa, St Anthony’s Kitale

Daniel Wamalwa/ St Anthony’s [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Wamalwa Daniel finishes the tournament having not conceded a single goal. Starting out against Shimba Hills in the opener, he kept the saints in a match that very much had Shimba dominating. He was rested for their Banisa clash, and again for their semi-final clash against Ebwali but came on when Issa Emuria was injured early in the game. Wamalwa saved two penalties in the semi, and three more in the final to see the saints bag the national title.

Right Full-Back- Majaliwa Salim, Shimba Hills

Majaliwa Salim is a stranger in this list, the only one to have not featured in the final four. He is the Shimba Hills right full-back whose advances forward gave trouble to both St Anthony’s Kitale and Olbolsat. We settle on his qualities for the team of the tournament just for what he can offer going forward.

Left Full-Back- Mwangemi Boniface, Dagoreti

Mwangemi Boniface/Dagoreti [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Dagoreti High School captain Boniface Mwangemi will fill in on the left defensive flank. Just like Majaliwa, loves space and when accorded some, is bound to cause trouble from the flanks. He is a ball-player and loves to build from the back.

Ball-playing midfielders are what our two full-backs for the team of the season need.

Central Defense

John William– Dagoreti

John William/ Dagoreti [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Central defense was the most closely contested area when compiling this list. The duos pairing in the final match of the tournament all did well- with Dagoreti only conceding once throughout and St Anthony’s finishing without conceding one. John William, however, from Dagoreti is here because he is a workhorse. Good with both feet and rises up for aerial challenges with authority- he takes up one half of the central defense- to the right.

Raila Christopher, St Anthony’s Kitale

Raila Christopher/ St Anthony’s Kitale [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Raila Christopher is our second to the pair. The St Anthony defender wins possession with ease at the back- or with brute force for stubborn strikers, but cleanly without conceding fouls in dangerous areas. He can also initiate power play whenever opponents lose possession and his team needs a quick break. He partners John William in our team of the tournament.

Central Midfield

Musamali Daniel, St Anthony’s Kitale

Musamali Daniel/ St Anthony’s Kitale [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Musamali Dan not only takes up a place in central midfield but is also our Soka Player of the tournament. A diminutive figure in the St Anthony’s midfield, Musamali first struck for the Solidarity Boys against Shimba Hills in the competition opener and remained consistent, holding up a midfield that failed to crumble under pressure. A decent cushion for his backline- they, in a very big way, ensured the saints finish the competition without conceding a single goal.

Simon Omondi, Dagoreti

Simon Omondi/ Dagoreti [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

We have Omondi Simon partnering Dan in the midfield and what a combination this can be. A clean tackler and jealous keeper of the ball, Omondi almost- single-handedly marshaled Dagoreti midfield. He adds another quality at the center of the park in the way of accurate long diagonals that are sure to find full-backs in advanced areas of the attack.

Attacking midfield

Zablon Kutela, Dagoreti High

Kutela Zablon/ Dagoreti [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Zablon Kutela plays a very deceitful first touch almost every time he is on the ball, expected though because he is a left-footed attacking midfielder. With a deceitful stature to go with, he is the man you use to slice through a rick solid defense with neat interchanges of play between forwards and himself. In the tournament, Dagoreti benefitted heavily from this, their very best moments beginning with Zablon.

Owalla Adongo Kelvin, Ebwali Secondary

Adongo Kelvin/ Ebwali [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

Adongo has the domineering stature of center-back yet plays a more advanced role in attacking midfield. Turning out for 3rd place finishers Ebwali Secondary School, his snap-shots from outside the 18-yard area were a delight, lacking a bit in technique but for a youngster yet to venture into professional football, these can definitely be worked on. He plays alongside Zablon in attacking midfield in our team of the tournament.

Center Forwards

Rashid Adan, Lake Olbolsat High School

Rashid Adan/ Olbolsat [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

We play two strikers in our team of the season; with Adan Rashid of Olbolsat occupying one. Three goals in the competition with two coming from that incredible comeback against Shimba Hills in the group stages is the mark of a good center-forward. He is also the only striker to beat Dagoreti keeper Jusper Okello from open play.

Paul Odhiambo, Dagoreti High

Paul Odhiambo/ Dagoreti [IMAGE-Fabian Odhiambo]

To finish our best eleven for the school games is Paul Odhiambo- whose best day could have come against Olbolsat in the semi-final but a second denied goal could not prevent him from causing some positive impact for his Dagoreti High school side. A lanky frame inside the box with decent control is what Odhiambo gives you as a center-forward and that is why he partners well with Rashid upfront for our team of the tournament.

Honorable mentions:

Jusper Okello (GK)- Dagoreti, Loren James (RB) Dagoreti, Akhwaba Samson (LB) Ebwali, Mwinyi Hassan (CB) Shimba Hills, Muchina Cedric (CB) St Anthony’s, Vincent Oluoch (CB) Kisumu Day, Mwangi Peter (CM) Olbolsat, Owiti Tobias (CM) Shimba Hills, Issa Lumumba (AM) St Anthony’s, Isaboke James (AM) Ebwali, Derrick Omondi (AM) Dagoreti, Omalla Benson (CF) Kisumu Day, Jacob Onyango (CF) St Anthony’s.

PS– Majaliwa Salim was eliminated from the tournament before we could get a proper photo of the right-back.