Nyasa Big Bullets yesterday welcomed Irish coach Evan Doran who is expected to drill the TNM Super League giants for two months.
Doran, who is a product of Premiership giants Arsenal’s Gap Programme which trains coaches and deploys them to do football programmes in the UK and abroad, jetted into the country via Chileka Airport.
He was welcomed by the club’s chief executive officer (CEO) Fleetwood Haiya who said the coach’s arrival was a big boost for the club’s plans of establishing a football academy.
“We met him [Doran] when we were in the UK on a familiarisation tour. There we visited three clubs’ academies [Arsenal, Aston Villa and Birmingham City]. We met him at Arsenal Academy. Though he is young, he has achieved a lot in this area and we were impressed,” he said.
The CEO said Bullets have a five year-plan to establish a fully-fledged football academy, and Doran’s engagement was the first step.
He said: “We want to know how we can go about it. As of now, we cannot engage him full time since he is attached [to Arsenal]. That’s why he is here on a short-term basis. He will work with our Under-20, the reserve side and of course, the senior team.
“We are not paying him anything. He only asked for us to pay for his air ticket and local expenses such as accommodation. We are grateful to have his services and we hope he will add value to our team.”
Bullets plan to establish a relationship with Arsenal Academy, Aston Villa and Birmingham City FC, according to Haiya.
“Our plan is that after establishing the academy, we should be able to send three or four players to these academies. We dream of one day seeing a Malawian playing in the Premiership,” he said.
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda applauded Bullets for bringing in the expatriate.
“Look, we have to do way with thinking we can do things our way. Let’s learn from what the experts are doing. The good thing is that Bullets have gone an extra mile bringing in this coach, with reasonable expenses. A trip to the UK where they visited the three clubs’ academies and establish the links was all it took. They have just spent on an air ticket and local expenses for services that could cost a lot. Other clubs should learn from Bullets,” he said.
Doran has helped establish football academies in countries such as Greece.
“For me, I was only 18 when I started the programme and it certainly gave me a completely different outlook on life,” he was quoted by The Sun in 2017.