It doesn’t get sweeter than this. For the first time in Malawi football, a Super League player of the season will drive home a brand new car.
All along, the most outstanding player was getting monetary prize but Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has now upped the game and purchased a Mazda Demio worth K3 million to go with the award.
Former Nyasa Big Bullets midfielder Peter Banda, who won the 2019 TNM Super League Player of the Season Award got K300 000 from league sponsors TNM plc.
But Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda said the league-runners have now used money from ‘other sources’ to purchase the vehicle.
He said the prize is in line with the current Sulom executive committee’s manifesto which emphasises on ensuring players get the most from the league.
Said the president: “We are fulfilling the promise of humanising the player. This is the time that our players should get value for their sweat on the pitch.
“Like it was said in the manifesto, it is our strategic intent to professionalise the league by putting the player at the centre of it.
“We are ensuring that we incentive the player as much as possible to provide an environment of high performing and competitiveness.”
Nyasa Big Bullets captain John Lanjesi applauded Sulom, saying the move will motivate the players.
He said: “It is indeed time players started getting recognition for their sweat and the move by Sulom will add excitement. I only hope that there will be a proper process of selecting the outstanding player.”
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said considering that this is the first of its kind, Sulom needs to be applauded for the gesture.
“Understanding the current status of most of our players, a Demio is worth a starting point.
“However, the challenge could be how the winner will be identified considering that the current player of the match accolade leaves a lot to be desired. Let Sulom come out clearly on the criteria to be used and the choice of panel to be considered with utmost care for transparency and accountability’s sake. Otherwise, this is the best coming from Sulom,” he said.