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Francis Kadenge: Gifted winger, master dribbler, goal poacher

Francis Kadenge was one of the finest right winger from Kenya every young football player with ambition wished to emulate in the 1980s when AFC Leopards was a mighty force to reckon with.

He was in the thick of things for Leopards when they dominated the East and Central Africa Club championship, lifting the crown three times consecutively in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

His service on the field will never be forgotten in the history of Ingwe after scoring the winning goal against stubborn Admarc Tigers (2-1) to lift the title in 1983 in Zanzibar. The tricky winger emerged the top scorer in the tournament.

Kadenge, a product of the famed Bernard Zgoll Youth Centres, packed plenty of speedy, was an excellent, sometimes audacious dribbler and had an eye for goal. He could dribble in tight spots and relished taking on the defence.

His skill was good enough to make him burst into the very competitive Harambee Stars of the 1980s.

Born 53 years ago. November 4, he was raised in Nairobi’s South B Estate. Like his more famous father, Joe Kadenge, he played for Maragoli United (Imara FC) before moving to AFC Leopards in 1982 together with the likes of Peter Lichungu, Mickey Weche, Omar Shaaban, Mike Amwayi, Dan Musuku, Issa Suleiman, Peter Ouma, John Arieno and Henry Omondi.

He also had stints in Re-Union in between a professional football sojourn in Oman.

Kadenge came from a football playing family. His younger brother Oscar is currently a Leopards player. His other brother, Evans is an assistant coach at Nzoia United, a Division One side, while another brother, Rodgers, played for the defunct Utalii FC and Volcano United. Kadenge is survived by three sons.

At the time of his demise he was based at Gisambai village in Tiriki, Vihiga County after relocating from Nairobi. He passed on on Sunday at Nyanza General Hospital in Kisumu, a gifted player who brought flair and excitement to Kenyan football.

AFC Leopards 1980s dream XI: Mahmoud Abbas, Pius Masinza, Patrick Shilasi, John Arieno “Papa”, Josephat Murila, Abdul Barasa, Francis Kadenge, Haggai Mirikau, Joe Masiga, Wilberforce Mulamba, Mike Amwayi.

By John Ashihundu

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Club News

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Harambee Stars

Michael Olunga @ KPL
Michael Olunga @ KPL

KPL rising stars form bulk of Kenya Under-20 call ups

As expected, Kenyan Premier League players make the majority of the 30-man Kenya Under- 20 team called up for the African Championship qualifier against Tanzania.

The junior Kenya side has 20 KPL players, many prominent and promising.

Gor Mahia forward Timmonah Wanyonyi is set to make his debut with the Under-20 side barely a month after he was called to represent Harambee Stars in an international friendly match against Sudan that however aborted.

Wanyonyi's teammates Haron Shakava and Herbert Kompany have also been called up to the team, and will join a quality looking squad that assembles on Sunday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani for a training camp.

Michael Olunga, who has been in impressive form for Thika United since his departure from Tusker at the start of the season, has also been handed a called up, as has Patillah Omotto, the Bandari midfielder who was dropped by AFC Leopards last season. He will be joined by teammate David King’atua.

Other prominent faces in the list are Mathare United’s Eric Johanna and defender Sammy Meja from Thika and Top Fry Nakuru’s 18-year-old rising star John Ndirangu, who scored a brace on Saturday in their 2-0 league win against Gor Mahia.

Lower tier league side Kariobangi Sharks is represented by defender Geoffrey Shiveka.

Thika United’s John Kamau will coach the team while Ken Odhiambo will be his assistant.

The junior Stars will be hoping to build on their impressive performance of last year, when they reached the finals of the Confederation of South African Federations (Cosafa) tournament staged in Lesotho.

Kenya Under-20 squad: Goalkeepers - Peter Odhiambo (Mathare United), Farouk Sikhalo (Tusker), Bonface Baraza (Rangers). Defenders - Vincent Omumbo (Thika United), Geoffrey Shiveka (Sharks), Bonface Mwangi (Liberty/Supa Loaf), Sammy Meja (Thika United), Haroun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Bonface Osolo (Western Stima), Robert Mukenyu (Mukumu Boys), Derrick Mwisheni ( Mukumu Boys), Abdiweli Farah Dahir (Berlin). Midfielders - Patillah Omoto (Bandari), Anthony Mbugua (Liberty), Jackson Macharia ( Thika United), Michael Kyalo ( Thika United), Eric Johana (Mathare United), David King’atua (Thika United), Victor Ndinya (Bandari), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards). Strikers - Timmonah Wanyonyi (Gor Mahia), Herbert Kompany (Gor Mahia), Michael Olunga ( Thika United), Timothy Luda (Thika United), Dennis Dodi (AFC Leopards), John Nairuka (Thika United), Simon Mburu (UK Academy), Anthony Nyaoga (Bolton Wanderers, UK), John Ndirangu (Top Fry Nakuru), Erastus Mwaniki (Top Fry Nakuru).

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  Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Gor Mahia 19 11 5 3 26 15 11 38
2 Tusker 19 10 5 4 27 17 10 35
3 Sofapaka 19 9 6 4 33 16 17 33
4 Chemelil Sugar 19 8 8 3 16 9 7 32
5 KRA 19 9 3 7 15 17 -2 30
6 Ulinzi Stars 19 5 12 2 18 14 4 27
7 Sony Sugar 19 6 9 4 17 13 4 27
8 Thika United 19 6 8 5 19 18 1 26


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