Red-hot Flames striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango has been named as one of Malawi’s top five players to have graced South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) alongside compatriots Patrick Mabedi, John Maduka, Ernest Mtawali and Robert Ng’ambi.
The Orlando Pirates forward, who is leading the 2019/20 PSL goal-scoring charts with 14 goals, has made the list compiled by SuperSport—a South Africa-based Pan-Africa group of sports television channels carried on the DStv satellite platform.
Reported SuperSport: “The Malawian star has made an impact at each club that he has played for in the PSL since he arrived in the country in 2013 and joined Bloemfontein Celtic. Mhango narrowly missed out on the Absa Premiership Golden Boot award by one goal during his debut season [2013/14], before moving to Lamontville Golden Arrows in 2015.
“At Arrows, he is best remembered for scoring four goals in a single league game against Mpumalanga Black Aces [now known as Cape Town City] in April 2016. The diminutive forward then moved to Bidvest Wits where he played an integral role in helping the team clinch the Absa Premiership and MTN8 double in his first season.
“He also helped the Clever Boys clinch the 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup and he secured a big move to Pirates ahead of the 2019/20 season.”
But topping the list is former Flames captain Patrick Mabedi who also had an illustrious career at Kaizer Chiefs.
States the article: “The Kaizer Chiefs legend is one of the finest defenders in the history of the PSL having achieved greatness during his time with the Soweto giants. Mabedi, who captained Chiefs between 2004 and 2006, arrived in South Africa in 1998 and joined Amakhosi where he enjoyed a glorious spell winning two back-to-back PSL titles between 2004 and 2005.
“The retired central defender also won the BP Top 8 Cup [MTN8], four Rothmans Cups [Coca Cola Cup/Telkom Knockout Cup], two Bob Save Super Bowls [Absa Cup/Nedbank Cup] and CAF African Cup Winners’ Cup,” reads the article further.
Black Leopards midfielder Robert Ng’ambi is second on the list for his impressive career with Lidoda Duvha and Platinum Stars.
“The veteran midfield maestro is considered to be a legend at Black Leopards, but he played his best football at the now-defunct Platinum Stars.
“Ng’ambi joined Leopards in 2005 and he quickly became an influential player during his six-year spell with Lidoda Duvha, and he played a key role in helping the team finish as runners-up in the 2011 Nedbank Cup.”
Flames legend Ernest Mtawali, who joined Orlando Pirates in 2000 after an envious career at Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns, is third on the list.
“Mtawali helped the Buccaneers clinch the league and cup double [PSL title and BP Top 8 Cup] during the 2000/01 campaign having formed a formidable midfield partnership with Bafana Bafana legend Thabo Mngomeni.
“The former Welkom Real Hearts player, who was voted Footballer of the Year in South Africa in 1985, also won the PSL title in his final season (2002/03) with Pirates, before moving to Hellenic.”
Another former Flames captain John Maduka is fourth following his 12 season PSL career between 1996 and 2009.
“Maduka’s first South African club was Umtata Bush Bucks where he spent seven seasons as a key player, before moving to Zulu Royals [AmaZulu FC] following the former’s relegation from the PSL at the end of the 2002/03 campaign.
“The former Malawi captain spent one season with Royals and he was snapped up by Bloemfontein Celtic where he played an important role in helping the team clinch the 2008 SAA Supa 8 (MTN8) as team captain,” reads Maduka’s profile.
Commenting on the list, soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said they five players deserve the recognition.
“You cannot talk of Malawi football without mentioning these five names.
“As for Gaba, we still have a lot to see from this son of Malawi,” he said.
Other promising Malawian players in the PSL include Gerald Phiri Jnr and Limbikani Mzava.