South African Premier Soccer League outfit Baroka FC Malawian forward Richard Mbulu’s dramatic rise of form has earned him praise from his coach Matsemela Thoka.
As of yesterday, Mbulu was the DStv Premiership leading scorer with three goals from two matches.
The forceful striker scored in the opening match when his club beat Maritzburg 2-1 at the weekend before notching a brace in the second match against Black Leopards that ended 3-1 on Tuesday.
He put an icing on the cake with a vintage performance that earned him the man-of-the-match accolade.
His resurgence comes after failing to score in 29 appearances last season.
Thoka was all praises for Mbulu after the 3-1 victory over Leopards.
“In Zulu they say avulekile amasango [open the door for me]. I am very happy for the boy. Two games, three goals. The door is open for the boy.
“He is a good striker. Last season things were not looking good for the boy. He is a good striker…He is aggressive, he has the speed, he has power… he is a very good striker, I am telling you,” he said.
Local occer analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that Mbulu needed to come of age before realising his full potential.
“He started slowly and finished his maiden season in the league, with no goal. Within days, he has scored three already, one over the weekend and a brace against Black Leopards. Now he’s showing them why he was nicknamed ‘Bad news’! He just needs to be consistent to make a serious imprint in DSTV Premiership,” he said.
Former Flames captain James Sangala, who is also Football Association of Malawi youth development officer, said Mbulu has proved why he deserves a starting place in the Flames.
“Despite the goal drought, he has got something most of us don’t see which makes all coaches believe in him,” he said.
Mbulu, who joined Baroka last season from Costa do Sol, said he was relieved finally rediscover his scoring boots.
“I thank God. It’s good for me because last season I was struggling to get goals. I thank my teammates, my cousin [and teammate] Gerald Phiri Jnr and my wife, who were pushing me to work hard,” he said.
At press time last night, Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango’s Orlando Pirates were taking on Stellenbosch while Limbikani Mzava’s new club Amazulu faced TS Galaxy.
Gaba was also on target in Pirates’ opening match against Amazulu which ended one-all.