Russel Mwafulirwa’s steely determination to resurrect his injury-hit career has seen the former Flames striker granted probably his last flirtation with Europe football at Danish third-tier outfit Rishoj Boldklub.
Mwafulirwa, 31, started trials on Thursday at the second-division side, courtesy of Kim Splidsboel. The former Flames coach handed him his debut which was coincidently the Dane’s last hurrah with the Flames at Civo Stadium in 2001.
Splidsboel confirmed in a telephone interview from the Scandinavian country this week that he put in a good word for Mwafulirwa after Rishoj asked for “a tall and clever striker”.
“I am not an agent. I just recommended him. This is a striker who scored in my last game for Malawi; Peter Mgangira’s free-kick and bang! Russel scored in 1-0 win over Angola. Malawi is my second home. I would love to coach again,” explained Splidsboel.
Mwafulirwa, who had trials at Silver Strikers recently, last played competitively early 2013 at Swedish second-division side IK Sleipner. He then had revived his career which stalled after he shockingly opted against staying at Sweden top club IFK Norrkoping.
“I know that he has not played for a long time, but if he works hard during the trials, he can revive his career. The fact that he is a free agent boosts his prospects. He could be signed and even make his debut this Saturday,” Splidsboel insisted.
Former Flames defender Clement Kafwafwa, who spent 11 years playing in division two clubs such as Holbaek Ba in Denmark, yesterday confirmed Mwafulirwa’s trials.
“Second division is very tough here in Europe. You cannot compare with our league. Yes, if he is going to work hard, he can make it. I have just heard from my former coach Jasper Hansen that Russel is going to his team for trials,” said Kafwafwa, speaking from Scotland where he is attending a coaching course.
Silver assistant coach Francis Songo, speaking in his personal capacity yesterday, said during Mwafulirwa’s trials “he did not give us a true picture of whether he was ready to play. He was cautious in tackles probably because he was thinking of returning to Europe.”
Based at Rishoj Stadium, Rishoj sit 12th with just one win, five draws and five losses in 11 games in the 16-member eastern stream of Danish football division two.
Mwafulirwa also played for Silver Strikers, Jomo Cosmos and Ajax Cape Town in South Africa.
He was, alongside Kanyenda, Flames principal strikers. Mwafulirwa was Malawi leading scorer with two goals in three games at the 2010 Afcon finals in Angola.