National women football team and DD Sunshine striker Sabina Thom has become the country’s fourth women football export after securing a year-long deal with Swedish top league side Kvarnsvedens IK.
The country’s award-winning women footballer Tabitha Chawinga, who has since arrived in China for her two-year spell with elite league side Jiangsu Suning, recommended Thom to the Swedish club, which also signed her young sister Temwa on a two-year contract last August.
Malawi also has defender Chisomo Kazisonga playing in Austria.
“Kvarnsvedens asked me to recommend another Malawian striker, who would fit in my shoes in the Swedish league on top of my young sister and I proposed Sabina,” said Chawinga, who outshone the World Player of the Year and FC Barcelona star Lieke Marten to win the 2017 Swedish football’s Forward of the Year accolade.
“They said they decided to go for another Malawian player in appreciation of my exploits in the Swedish league last year.”
Thom, 20, is expected to leave for Sweden together with Temwa on January 21.
On her part, Thom expressed delight at the opportunity of playing professional football abroad.
“First of all, let me thank Tabitha for having trust in me out of all the talented women footballers in the country. I will do my best not to disappoint her and the nation. I cannot wait to play for a foreign club,” she said.
Thom was part of the national team squad that took part in the 2017 Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women Football Championship in Zimbabwe.
During the 2017 edition of Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Cup, she emerged second top scorer with 38 goals, 10 behind eventual golden boot winner Linda Kasenda of DD Sunshine.
Thom won the golden boot during the 2016 Central Region Football League with 45 goals and her lone goal in the final helped DD Sunshine beat rivals Skippers to take the ultimate glory.
DD Sunshine coach and former Flames forward Andrew Chikhosi said the Swedish club has made the right choice because Thom is confident on the ball and is lethal in front of goal.
National Women Football Association (NWFA) vice-chairperson Catherine Chikandula said the growing number of Malawian women football players in top foreign clubs will help to woo more international clubs to sign Malawi players.
“Moreover, international exposure will help improve the performance of the national team. As NWFA, we are happy that our effort of nurturing talent is bearing sweet fruits,” she said.