continues retracing Malawi Under-17 football team players who, despite gaining valuable international experience when they qualified for the Africa Youth Championship and the World Youth Championship, were discarded.
In this entry, we look at the 2008 class’ second-choice goalkeeper Victor Nangwale who seems to be living up to his potential at Kamuzu Barracks (KB) FC.
After the Under-17 showing, Nangwale tested his marketability to the limit; he featured in Big Bullets pre-season games alongside midfielder Kelvin Malikebu, who is also at KB.
Eventually, after failing to meet the demands of playing for the difficult-to-please Bullets, he was soon on the road to Azam Tigers.
Tigers’ revolving door threw out Nangwale who had to start from scratch at KB. A good physique and reflexes are his strengths while erratic form is his biggest challenge.
“I have been like a rolling stone but I have now found my home at KB,” Nangwale told Sportxtra after frustrating Mighty Wanderers to a TNM Super League draw on November 8 2012 at Balaka Stadium.
Malikebu, too, has picked the pieces of his career which started off at Blackpool. Being voted 2012/13 TNM Super League’s best midfielder speaks volumes about what a massive talent the diminitive creative player is.
At Tigers, Nangwale (20) found and left Kondwani Lufeyo who used to feature as a regular left-back for the junior side. Lufeyo managed to survive the chop at Kau Kau where he sometimes wears the captain’s armband and plays in central defence.
Lufeyo, who reports say is currently training with Wanderers, is an epitome of hard-work and dedication. He can walk into any Super League team owing to his focus and uncompromising style especially when marking. His small frame undermines his role as a defensive player.
Patience Kalumo is another defensive player Lufeyo played with in the Under-17. For a player standing over 1.8 metres and with youth football experience under his belt, it is a pity that the Flames selectors have never appreciated his rare attributes. Yet, the Flames lack aerial presence, especially in midfield.
Kalumo (21) is not the most skilled, neither is he the fastest, but he has the physical attributes that can be developed. Kalumo has not done himself a favour by failing to clinch a regular position at Civo United in the last four seasons. Injuries have partly contributed to his slow progress.
Another former Malawi Under-17 promising player was Peter Nselema, who, after a spell with Wanderers, rejoined Epac where he is a regular. Other Under-17 defenders were Bongani Kayipa and Francis Mulimbika who launched their Super League careers at the Lali Lubani Road.
The duo’s story has been full of promise but with little to show for it. Mulimbika and Kayipa could be victims of the Nomads’ constant shuffling of their best XI.
Kayipa has some three caps.
Elsewhere, quick-heeled, a close ball control, wonderful balance and awareness for the target, are attributes that best describe 20-year-old Kelvin Hang’anda who was among the junior national team’s strikers.
Hang’anda gave glimpes of his potential playing for Escom United in the few appearances he made only to disappear last season. He seems unsettled.
Winger Mike Kaziputa was also the mainstay of the Kaputa class of 2008. He too used to call Blackpool home only to be rendered homleless after the team’s extinction.
He relocated to Tigers where he was eventually ejected by coach Leo Mpulula last season. Kaziputa has been finding his feet at Wanderers, taking advantage of left-wingers’ shortage at the Lali Lubani Road.
In the final analysis, there are many players who can add more value to the Flames than some of the players picked from the blue.
Players who have just emerged from nowhere without going through proper development stages start with so much promise, but fizzle out in almost the same manner they came.
It is high time FAM preached the gospel of proper player transition.
Malawi Under-17 full squad of 2008: Goalkeepers: Onani Sengwa
Victor Nangwale. Defenders: Kondwani Lufeyo, Kelvin Hang’anda, Francis Mulimbika, Peter Nselema, Bongani Kayipa, Limbikani Mzava. Midfielders:
Kelvin Malikebu, Mike Kaziputa, Innocent Jere, Patience Kalumo, Tony Chitsulo; strikers: Andrew Simkonda, Gastin Simkonda, Robin Ngalande, Luka Milanzi
Patience Kalumo/ Francis Mulimbika/ Kelvin Malikebu: Some of the discarded players