The local football transfer window closed on Sunday night with relatively low-key movements as clubs exercised caution in the fight for the TNM Super League title and survival.
Notable big-name signings were former foreign-based players—Yamikani Chester and Frank Banda—who were roped in as free agents by their former clubs Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers, respectively.
Nomads chairperson Chancy Gondwe confirmed yesterday that the former US-based attacker is the only player they signed during the window.
Another notable signing was former Civil Service (Civo) United captain Blessings Tembo who has returned to the Central Bankers at K3.5 million.
Silver public relations manager David Dauda said besides Tembo, they have not made additions to their squad.
On whether this wa Malawi Queens shooter Joyce Mvula on Sunday bagged her fifth Player-of-the-Match Award in 18 games in the United Kingdom’s Vitality Netball Superleague after inspiring Manchester Thunder to a 57-41 victory over Surrey Storm.
The 27-year-old was in an incredible form as she contributed 44 goals and shooting at 91 percent accuracy as the defending champions earned a successive victory, according to match statistics table on the league’s website www.netballsl.com.
The latest win came a day after Thunder secured a top-four play-offs slot with three games to spare following a 55-43 triumph over Severn Stars.
“I am happy that I have won many Player-of-the-Match awards in the league this season. However, what is more important is that we are in the top four,” Mvula said in an interview yesterday.
So far, Thunder, who are third on the 11-team log-table with 45 points, have made the semi-final grade alongside leaders Team Bath (51 points) and second positioned Loughborough Lightning (48 points).
Strathclyde Sirens, which has Malawi Queens goalkeeper Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, beat Saracens Mavericks 41-35 on Sunday to recover from their previous day’s 37-48 defeat to Team Bath and keep their play-offs hopes alive.
Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda was instrumental in Sirens’ latest win as she had eight turnovers, five intercepts and three defensive rebounds.
“It was a game of defence when Sirens met Mavericks for the second time this season. It was a must-win game for both sides if they were to make the top four, but Sirens came out tops,” explained a match report on the league’s website.
Sirens are currently fifth on the table with 29 points, two behind fourth-placed Wasps. They might become the last team to secure a semi-final place if they win their two remaining games against Celtic Dragons and Thunder. \s by design, the Central Bankers spokesperson said: “This is the only addition we wanted a. Otherwise, the coaches are happy with the current squad and only wanted to boost the midfield.”
Civo general secretary Ronald Chiwaula said they have signed Kondwani Mwaila from Silver on loan and promoted Arnold Wilson from their youth side.
Champions Nyasa Big Bullets have taken on board former Red Lions midfielder Paul Kansungwi and were completing the deal of Ekwendeni Hammers left-back Eric Kawonga yesterday.
Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga confirmed Kawonga’s signing, adding that they have also loaned out Luke Chima to the Super League rookies.
However, he could not be drawn to disclose the transfer fee.
Other new signings include Josaya Duwa, who has signed for Karonga United from Ntopwa FC while the Amagheto Kids have roped in Nigerian Emenike Onuh.
Blue Eagles have signed former Bullets forward Patrick Phiri as a free agent and Tony Mbulu from Mighty Tigers.
Chigoga and football analyst George Kaudza Masina attributed the lack of movement to caution on the part of the clubs as well as financial constraints.
Said Chigoga: “This is testimony that clubs are going through financial constraints, especially due to effects of Covid-19.
“On the other hand, during the mid-season transfer window, teams are reluctant to release their key players because they are either fighting for the title or survival.”
On his part, Kaudza Masina said: “Apart from the signings of Chester and Frank Banda, there has only been one major transfer and that is of Blessings Tembo.
“This is not surprising because midway the season, teams tend to cling to their outstanding players. Secondly, clubs don’t have money to spend.”