Kenyan Footballers Drawn to Lesser-Known Taiwan Premier League

On the 11th of April 2024, Gor Mahia attacking midfielder Enock Wanyama, along with several other players, made the move to play in the Taiwanese Premier League. Enock Wanyama, known for his skill as an attacking midfielder, made the surprising decision to join the relatively unknown Taiwanese team Leopard Cat FC, despite expectations that he would join Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia.

Alongside Wanyama, central defender Nicodemus Onyango also joined Leopard Cat on April 30, 2023. Wanyama returned home in January to fulfill his dream of joining Gor Mahia, while Onyango remained in Taiwan to continue playing in the Taiwanese league.

Other Kenyan players who traveled to Taiwan in January, such as David Owino, Erickson Mulu, Brian Mzee, and Muthoka Maingi, faced challenges in obtaining clearance and ultimately returned to Nairobi. Owino, a General Service Unit (GSU) officer, faces uncertainty about being cleared by the police service to play abroad.

Despite these challenges, the allure of playing abroad is a dream shared by many Kenyan players. Onyango emphasized the appeal of playing in Taiwan, citing good infrastructure, timely payment, and clubs that prioritize player welfare.

Mzee, who also trained in Taiwan for a month, acknowledged the quality of the infrastructure and looks forward to returning in July to prepare for the new season. Wanyama expressed his belief that Taiwanese clubs offer attractive packages and facilities, describing the quality of the playing surfaces, gyms, medical care, match attendance, and the potential for more Kenyan footballers to make the move to Taiwan.

The players’ experiences in Taiwan have showcased the appeal of playing in this lesser-known footballing destination, with the potential for more Kenyan players to seek opportunities there in the future.

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