February 25, 2021

Ismael Dunga: Kenyan star ditches KF Tirana for KF Vllaznia in Albania

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The former Tusker striker has once again changed clubs in Albania just a month after winning a league medal

Kenyan international Ismael Dunga has switched clubs in Albania after leaving KF Tirana for KF Vllaznia Shkoder.

Vllaznia confirmed on Tuesday they had signed the former Sony Sugar and Tusker striker though they did not reveal the duration of the contract signed.

“Official! Ismael Dunga as of today [Tuesday] is officially Vllaznia’s newest player,” the club wrote on their social media pages. “A fantastic hit by our leaders.”

Another statement confirmed: “The ability to mark from every quick and technical position Ismael Dunga is the right one to maintain the weight of the attack on Shkodra.”

The decision by the player to quit Tirana comes only a month after he played a pivotal role as the side won the Albanian Premier League of the 2019/20 season and booked a spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds.

Although Dunga did not start in the final match that guaranteed KF Tirana the win and a trophy, the forward was proud of his 2019 move that ensured he added a league title to his name.

KF Tirana won what became their 25th title and Dunga became the first Kenyan to lift the Albanian league.

Simba SC’s Francis Kahata, Musa Mohammed of Nkana FC, and Kenneth Muguna of Gor Mahia had stints at the club but did not record league success with them.

Kahata was at KF Tirana in 2015 while Muguna and Mohammed joined them in 2018 when the-then Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira ‘Ze Maria’ signed them.

At Tirana last season, Dunga played in 13 games and scored four goals, while in the KPL he played for Tusker, Sony Sugar, and Nakumatt FC before heading to Albania.

Dunga arrived at KF Tirana last year from another Albanian club Luftetari, where, from 2018 to mid-2019, he played in 24 matches and scored seven goals.

The 27-year-old forward played for Greek side Acharnaikos between 2016 and 2017, featured in seven matches, and scored three goals before he moved to Morocco and signed for Raja Beni Mellal.

From Raja Beni Mellal, Dunga signed for the City of Lusaka in 2017, and in 2018 he left for Napsa Stars FC, another Zambian side.

His new club Vllaznia is based in the city of Shkoder. It is the association football branch of the Vllaznia Sports Club, which was founded on February 16, 1919. It is also the oldest club in Albania which means it is the first club created in Albania.

The club have competed in every edition of Kategoria Superiore since 1930, which is the top tier of football in Albania, besides the 1956-57, 1961-62, and 2018-19 seasons.

Vllaznia is one of the most successful football clubs in Albania, having won nine Kategoria Superiore titles, six Albanian Cups, and two Albanian Supercups. They have only been relegated from the Kategoria Superiore three times, in 1956 due to a disqualification, in 1961, and for the last time in decades in 2018.

The club’s ground has been the Loro Borici Stadium since it was built in 1952, which is named after former Vllaznia and Albania national team captain.

In 2016, the stadium was rebuilt into a modern all-seater at the cost of €17 million, and it now has a capacity of 16,022, making it the largest stadium in Albania and the current home of the national team.