Malawi national football team coach Kinnah Phiri has given a mixed reaction on Robin Ngalandeâ€™s dramatic move from Spanish side Atletico Madrid Reserve team to South African Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits.
Kinnah said the deal is bad and good in both senses for the career of the player.
South African media reports indicated on Monday that Ngalande has penned a two-year deal with an option of another year with The Clever Boys.
“It is a setback for him to leave top class developmental structures in Spain and come back to Africa. He was at a big team and the way he has progressed since he went in 2010 he would move to the first team very soon.
“More young players and the country in general were looking at him as our potential ambassador to break into a top European team.
“But on the other hand, his move to PSL means he will be exposed to top flight football which is also good for his development as he is a senior national team player. In Spain he was playing for a junior team and junior league but now he will be up in a competitive action.”
He added; “Wits are a good team with a lot of youngsters and he will blend in easily without much pressure unlike other teams like Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs or Pirates and if he works hard he will return to Europe soon.”
Kinnah said Ngalande, just like other Flames players, need to consult before making such vital decisions.
“Much as we respect that such decisions are personal but it does not hurt to consult us because they are also part of our set-up and where they play matters to the national team. But we wish him all the best,” he said.
Ngalande did not respond to an e-mail and text messages on why he has left Spain just like his manager Paul Mitchell.
But South Africaâ€™ on line magazine www.soccer laduma.com, which last week broke the news that the player was training at Wits, confirmed the deal.
“The Siya can confirm that Robin Ngalande has penned a two-year deal with Wits. The Malawian international has now completed his move to The Clever Boys and will be turning out for the new-look Wits side next season, under the guidance of newly appointed head coach, Antonio Lopez Habas.
“Habas liked him while at Sundowns youth when Habas was the assistant to Hristo Stoichkov at Chloorkop. I think he will make an impact at the club,” the source concluded.
It is also not known if the youngster has signed on permanent basis or has just been loaned as he still has two years remaining on his Madrid contract.
Ngalande joined Madrid Under 18 side in 2010 from Sundowns Youth development after he impressed at an International Youth tournament.