Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida lifts hat-trick of Greek league titles with PAOK

Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida lifts hat-trick of Greek league titles with PAOK

Mark Kinyanjui 20:08 - 11.05.2024

Kenya international Esse Akida lifts third straight league crown with PAOK.

Harambee Starlets forward Esse Akida has lifted yet another Greek A Division title with PAOK Women, further cementing a place in the club’s history.

PAOK won the league on 68 points after 24 games, making it the 19th league crown they have won which includes the 10th consecutive title, with Akida winning her third in their colors.

Taking to social media, Akida expressed her delight at having helped PAOK make more history, accompanying a picture with the caption “Champion again”.

As the campaign draws to a close, speculation looms over whether Akida will extend her contract with PAOK, as her current deal is set to expire at the end of the season.

Her remarkable performance throughout the campaign undoubtedly positions her as a valuable asset for the club's future endeavors.

Akida's journey to success with PAOK began in July 2021 when she joined the team, signing a one-and-a-half-year deal. Her move to the Greek side followed a standout season with Thika Queens in the FKF Women's Premier League in Kenya, showcasing her talent on the domestic stage.

This stint with PAOK marked Akida's second venture abroad, following her earlier experience with Israeli Ligat Nashim club FC Ramat HaSharon during the 2018/19 season.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Akida continued to pursue her football career, joining Besiktas for the latter half of the 2019-20 Turkish Women's First Football League season.

Despite the league's discontinuation due to the pandemic, Akida's determination remained unwavering. She later returned abroad to join PAOK, where she enjoyed a stellar season, highlighted by a memorable hat-trick in the UEFA Women's Champions League. This feat made her the first Kenyan woman to achieve such a milestone in a Champions League match.

Throughout the season, Akida's goal-scoring prowess shone brightly, netting an impressive 17 goals in 18 appearances for PAOK. Her outstanding performance earned her recognition at the 41st Women's Professional Footballers Association (PSAPP) awards, held at the Athens Festival Hall in Greece on December 12, 2022.

Building on her success, Akida continued to excel, securing her second consecutive title with PAOK in May 2023 after scoring 12 goals for the team. Her consistent contributions have not only propelled PAOK to victory but have also solidified her status as one of the most talented footballers in the women’s game.