one time Flames saviour John ‘CJ’ Banda has returned to action after an eight-month lay-off with an ankle injury.
Banda got injured last August when his team Blue Eagles played Red Lions.
In an interview, the versatile midfielder said he has started full-scale training.
“Currently, I am training with Blue Eagles Reserves who play in the Chipiku Central Region Football League (CRFL) Premier Division and I would say so far so good.
“Blue Eagles main team is off-season and that is why I am training with the reserve side. But no more pain and I am fresh than ever,” he said.
He said though he has been reduced to a sideshow, he is determined to get back to his best before the new season begins.
“It will take a lot of hard-work and commitment to regain match fitness and, of course, form. The class is still the same, the injury didn’t take it away. It is just a matter of fitness and working on the mindset,” he said.
Prior to his injury, he was one of the Flames best performers. He scored two crucial goals in successive competitive games against Nigeria (1-1) in a 2014 World Cup qualifier and in the 2-0 win over Chad in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last June.
“The solace is that we still have the  World Cup qualifiers as well as the [revived] Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup games coming up and I hope to be considered,” he said.
n the weekend of June 1-2. The quarter-finals will be held on the weekend of June15-16 followed by semis and finals in the subsequent weekends.
Big Bullets are the defending national champions. They edged Moyale Barracks 1-0 in the final match.