Black Leopards have reportedly demanded Dave Bandaâ€™s improved perfomance this season having struggled in the previous one, which was his first with the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) side after signing from Red Lions.
Bandaâ€™s manager Kondie Msungama confirmed on Tuesday that the Leopardsâ€™ Sunday Chidzambwa-led coaching panel felt the midfielder could offer more.
“The board had a meeting and they told Dave to pull up his socks. They noted that he had gained weight and his pace was diminishing. I reasoned with the board that lack of game time was largely contributing to his waning match fitness. They agreed to offer him more action,” said Msungama.
Nation Online asked Msungama about Bandaâ€™s next destination after South Africaâ€™s KickOff online football magazine indicated on Thursday that Leopards had offloaded him.
“The club is now happy that Dave, after playing for the Flames in the recent games, has improved. Before deciding to release Malawian players, they discuss with me and nothing of that sort happened,” said the playerâ€™s scout.
In a telephone interview from South Africa, Leopards chairperson David Thidiela confirmed that Banda was part of the squad that will travel this weekend to Sudan for a CAF Confederations Cup match against Al Merrikh.
“I was surprised to hear this and I called the coaches. Neither the coach nor the manager knows about this. Dave is very much part of the team. He is travelling to Sudan and he will play. Did you see our comment when such reports were published? You know what some South Africa newspapers can sometimes write,” he said.
Red Lions spokesperson Major Hilly Majola on Tuesday said he met Banda last week before he returned to his Limpopo base and was equally surprised by the reports that he had been offloaded.
Banda became a trailblazing Malawi Defence Force football player to sign for a foreign team on a two-year deal with Leopards paying a K500 000 (about $2 000) development fee, thereby giving other army players hope for move to foreign clubs.
With Moses Chavula released by Amazulu, Jacob Ngwira and Sankhani Mkadawireâ€™s future with Carara Kicks uncertain, there were fears that the future of the Flames players was compromised. Harry Nyirenda is another Malawian player at Leopards.
Meanwhile, Leopards have announced on their website their new signings Jean Djunga Munganga, Miya Mondli and Thulani Ntshingila.