After 60 leagues games across three seasons, Kenyan midfielder Anthony Clement Dafaa’s stay at 2016 Finland Champions IFK Mariehamn has come to an end.
The former Bandari FC midfielder joined the club in 2015 from fellow Veikkausliiga side VPS but as the 2017 season wrapped up the club announced he will not be part of their setup for next season as they will not be offering him a fourth contract extension.
"After weighing the plus and the minus we know that it's time to get away," says IFK head coach Peter Lundberg as quoted by veikkausliiga.com
“He is a professional player who never chooses and with whom it is really easy to work. Last year he played a really brilliant season and this season he has performed well after receiving the opportunity. I wish him success.” Added the coach
In his first season at Marieham in 2015 Dafaa featured in 26 of 33 league games earning 26 starts. The league show reduced to 17 in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
While he started all games last season, where his side won their first ever league title, he managed ten starts in the just ended season as his side gave up the title to end up fifth.
Anthony Dafaa arrived in Finland in 2013 to join top flight side VPS from Swedish fourth tier side Karlskrona AIF on a one year deal.
He went on to feature in 29 of 33 games that season scoring once to help his side qualify for the UEFA Europa League in 2014. Later in the year he extended his contract for another year and added one more to the end of 2017.
His stay at Mariehamn was colored with history as he, alongside another Kenyan Amos Ekhalie, bagged the domestic - Suomen Cup - in September 2015 after a 2-1 win over Inter Turku.
The cup saw Marienhamn earn a ticket to the first qualifying round of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League.
Slightly over a year after landing the Finish Cup with IFK Mariehamn, the Kenyan pair of Dafaa and Ekhalie added another feather to their cap, Finland’s league – Veikkausliiga title earned after a 2-1 win over Ilves in the 33rd and final league tie played at the Wiklof Holding Arena on Sunday 23 October 2016.
That league win sent Marieham to the prestigious UEFA Champions in 2017. It mattered little that his debut at that level was faulty as his club fell 0 – 3 at home to Polish side Legia Warsaw on Wednesday 12 July, while he went out with a red card following two yellow cards in a span of four minutes.
His exit from Mariehamn means intense club search with the prospects expected to come out in due course.