Loza, an incredible forward, started her football career in Durame by playing football in the so called Lelise meda ( Lelise football pitch ). She started playing football with boys when she was a little kid and has been a headache for defenders since then.
Her incredible journey started from Durame with so many ups and downs along the way and ended up in Europe, Malta league. When she was a little kid, she simply played football for just her own satisfaction and she never imagined that she is going to end up as a professional player. After lots of ups and downs during her early football career, she has joined a football project. It was during this time that she started to dream big about her future.
Loza, a formidable forward, started her career from the scratch and become one of the role models for African women football players. She has been through extremely difficult situation all the way, especially due to the fact that in Ethiopian culture, women are not allowed to play football. They are rather responsible to take care of the family and sometimes serve as a house maid. Her love of football is so real that she had the courage to play with men during her childhood though her parents were insisting that she has to give attention for her education. However, she never listened to them and followed her heart. She used to make a small ball from locally available materials such as socks and she used to have this ball on one hand and her exercise books on the other on her way to school every day.
When she played football in her hometown, people used to criticize her after all she is a woman and she has to help her mom rather than playing football like men. She has to endure such social critics in order to realize her dreams. Some of her major challenges during her initial football career include playing in very poor pitches, pressure from her family in particular and the society in general; and living with criticisms from the society. She has to overcome all those challenges to become a professional football player. All those sacrifices that she has made paid off and she is now a professional player who plays football at a higher level.
She has started her football club career at Hawassa and joined Dedebit Football Club in Addis Ababa in 2015. She has played for Dedebit F.C for about four years and has won the Ethiopian women premier league for three consecutive years. She has been a key part for such great success. During these years, she was the leading goal scorer of the Ethiopian Premier League for four times. She was also awarded as the best player of the premier league once. In 2016, she has scored a total of 58 goals including netting an incredible nine goals in a single match against a club called Etege. This is still a record in most goals scored in a single match. In general, she has scored more than 204 goals for her clubs at Hawassa and Dedebit F.C while she was in Ethiopia.
Besides her personal triumph, Loza has played a key role in leading the attacking department for the national team of Ethiopia. She has expressed her feelings that she was disappointed that she did not play for the national team in 2019 / 2020. She noted that “there is nothing which makes me happy than playing for the national team”.
Birhanu Gizaw, who has coached the Ethiopian women national team, the so called Lucys, for ten years at different times and led them in to some major tournaments knows Loza closely and noted that “she is a very special player. Birhanu has coached Loza since 2014 and he witnessed that Loza has been effective and successful because she has a consistent plan to boost her performance. There is no time wasted in Lozas schedule, some players spend their time by watching movies and hanging out with their friends. This doesn’t work for Loza. She spends her time properly. For instance, she eats her meal on time and read books with her spare time. Most of her compatriots spend their time and money in beautifying themselves with different cosmetics, however Loza is busy in breaking different records”.
After such a spectacular career, she has started to realize her dream of becoming a professional football player by signing for a Swedish club called Kungsbacka for a trial. She stayed there for half a season and came back to Ethiopia. She then signed for Adama City F.C and won the premier league. During her stay at the Kungsbacka F.C in Sweden, she played a key role by scoring some important goals to help her club promote to the higher league. When she was in trial for professionalism at a Turkish club called Antalyaspor F.C, a couple clubs were interested though she has rejected their request trying to look for the right club.
Finally, she has joined a club called Birkikrkara F.C in Malta league. She has been at this club for one year and had a fantastic season. She has raised her country`s flag up in the hills because of her remarkable success at this club. During her only season at Malta league, she was a double winner by winning the league and the Super Cup. She was also named as player of the month award four times including in two successive months. She has broken so many records in Malta league including scoring seven goals in a single match against a club called Hibernians. This was a new record in the league and still is.
She has expressed her gratitude in her incredible seven goals record in a single match at Malta league by noting that “frankly speaking, it was incredible for me to score seven goals in a single match and set both mine and my country’s name in a record book”. Record breaking is not a new phenomenon for Loza.
Gianluca Lia, a writer in Malta times newspaper, noted that her incredible success by expressing that “she played a key role in improving the attacking department of Birkirkara F.C and scored more than 30 goals in a single season. This, in turn, help the club to break many records during the season. Loza has netted most of the goals scored by the club and improved the attacking department of the club significantly. One of her enormous success in a single match was when she scored a hattrick in the Super Cup final which helps her club seal the trophy” said Gianluca Lia .
Loza`s role model in football is the Brazilian super star and five times Ballon d’or winner Martha Vieira da Silva. She used to read about Marta since she was not able to watch videos of Marta during her childhood. Marta has inspired her a lot to become a professional football player and live her dreams. She has promised to herself that one day I will be as successful as Marta and this promise has lightened her journey to become a professional football player. Loza noted that “Marta is my typica role model and I still like her. My all-time dream is to play alongside with her one day and if not, to meet her in person”.
Loza’s first international game for the national team was against Namibia in a friendly match. She scored her first ever goal for the national team during the All Africa Games qualifying matches against the strongest Cameroon National Team in the Historic Addis Ababa stadium. Ever since then, she has scored more than 30 goals and this figure is more than half scored by other national team players who even played more games than her.
The secret behind Loza’s success is her private physical fitness trainer, Dr. Elias Abi. It was not common for even male football players to hire a private trainer. Loza has been trained by Dr. Elias when she was playing for Adama Ketema F.C in Ethiopia. Dr. Elias went to Adama town for providing a training and when he realized that Loza has a good potential, he started training her and this physical fitness training has paid off significantly.
When she went to Europe for trial and failed to deliver, her personal trainer Dr. Elias was disappointed. He remembered the time and noted that “During this trial I thought Loza would fail in physical fitness rather than in football technique, from this time onwards, I tried to investigate to find out that what kind of physical fitness exercise she needs and then I told her what she needs. She has agreed and we started our fitness training”. Loza continued training with Dr. Elias for the next three months and she has shown a good improvement and become fit physically. Dr. Elias revealed that “I am not surprised with what she has achieved so far because I knew she had a great potential and I knew she hate to lose from the very beginning”.
Birhanu added that Loza has an enthusiastic hunger for more and more triumph; and she is always fit psychologically. I am sure she will keep striding on the ladder for more and more success in the future. In general, anyone who has followed her challenging and demanding path all the way through can justify that she deserves a great respect. Birhanu Also quoted Lozas father Mr. Abera Ginore and witnessed that her commitment for her education, family and religion has led her to a remarkable success in her football career.
To play in Malta league is something a different experience as compared to other European countries. This is because she had a trial in other European countries such as Sweden and Turkey. Birkirkara F.C in Malta league is just the beginning for her future career. She has convinced everybody in Malta because of her exceptional performance for the past one year.
Loza, an exceptional forward who was crowned in Ethiopian premier league, a superstar who shines in Malta league, the first women forward who has won player of the season award in Malta league is now starting her new chapter of life. The year 2020 has brought her another experience in her private life since she got married with her fiancée, Mr. Yohanesse Damena during the Ethiopian new year. This year turns out to be the most successful year for her in both her football career and personal life.
📸 Photos @Eric Onchiri/JW Sports