If there were any best goalkeepers who changed teams after being victims of broken promises and frustrations over remuneration, Charles Chikoti is one of them.
From the time he played for the then Premier League outfit Nico FC in 1994 up to 2008, when he quit football while playing for Super League team Blue Eagles, Chikoti changed teams at least seven times.
He quit Nico FC at the end of the 1994 season for Oilcom Athletics. But after a season, Athletics FC were relegated. Chikoti jumped ship to Admarc Tigers in 1996 where he was for two years before he joined ACT Stars.
At cash-scrapped ACT Stars, Chikoti played for a season before being enticed to join Big Bullets in 2000 by chairperson Hassam Jussab and team manager Billy Tewesa.
He remained at Bullets for four seasons. That was the longest time he spent at one club in his soccer career, despite facing stiff competition from other Bullets prominent goalkeepers Swadick Sanudi and the late Navigator Dzinkambani, who were also Flames stars at the time.
“It was really tough to battle for a place against two national team goalkeepers,” said Chikoti, who now coaches social football club Chez Ntemba.
In 2004, he switched to Escom United where he quit after a season after officials failed to fulfil their promise to offer him a reliable job at Escom. He later joined MDC United, but he returned to Tigers after the team closed shop in the middle of 2005 league season due to lack of sponsorship.
“I ended my soccer career at Blue Eagles in 2008. I was promised recruitment into the Malawi Police Service, but a season ended without anything tangible. So, I trekked to South Africa to do business,” said Chikoti, who also earned a number of Under-20 and Flames call-ups.