While some quarters of the soccer fraternity are looking forward to revered Flames star Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda’s return to action in the forthcoming season, the battle-hardened defender has said he is currently focusing on his job at Surestream Academy.
Mponda, who has not played competitive football for almost two seasons after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for South African club Santos, told The Nation on Thursday that he is not in a hurry to bounce back.
“I am heading towards the end of my lengthy rehabilitation programme, but I am not in a hurry to return to action. My focus right now is on my job with Surestream Academy. I want to help spot and develop up-and-coming talent.
“But I am confident of returning to action at some point in the forthcoming season,” said Mponda who is currently on duty in Mzuzu with the academy’s scouting head Patrick Kulemeka.
He also disclosed that it is his wish to play a part in the Flames during the second half of the year.
“If I can impress the coaches, I would like to be considered for a few Flames games and then retire. I believe it will be a good way of bidding farewell to the soccer fraternity then pave the way for new talent,” he said.
Mponda also said he believes the Flames have found his suitable replacements in Limbikani Mzava and Harry Nyirenda.
“These are superb defenders and with the guidance of James Sangala, the national team’s future looks bright.
“Even in the event that I will be considered for national duty, I would play a guiding midfield role because I do not want to disturb the smooth transition,” said Mponda.
On their Northern Region adventure, Mponda said: “It has been fruitful. So far we have spotted five good on-field players from Karonga. This week, we recruited five goalkeepers from Mzuzu.
“Goalkeeping was our weakest link and next week we are proceeding to Lilongwe. So, it looks very promising,” he said.