Another Ascent player US-bound


By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Lughano Nyondo of Ascent Soccer (formerly Chigoli Academy) is set to become the first female player to graduate from the Lilongwe institution, having earned $63,500 (K46.5 million) annual scholarship from one of America’s top academic institutions, Indian Mountain School, Connecticut.

Lughano will leave for the United States (US) in August 2019 to continue her studies and soccer development.


She follows in the footsteps of Ascent’s first graduate Zobran Elias, who is studying and playing football in the US, having received a three-year scholarship to Taft School Connecticut.

In a statement, the academy’s founder, George Maguire, says Lughano was chosen because of her footballing and academic talents.

“We are absolutely delighted by this development. Lughano has shown amazing character, work-rate and strength to adapt and develop as quickly as she has in a variety of environments. Academically, she has exceeded everyone’s expectations. As a striker, she has everything she needs to excel. Power, two good feet, intelligence, speed, timing and most importantly, an eye for goal,” Maguire says.


Last year, Lughano was the academy’s overall top goalscorer and has potential to be the best female striker to emerge from Malawi since Tabitha Chawinga burst onto the scene.

Ascent Coach, Thom Mkolongo, urged Lughano to work hard.

“We are happy for Lughano as she heads to America. We wish her all the best representing Malawi in the US and sharing her experiences there with the players back at the academy when she returns,” he said.

Ascent identified Lughano at Katoto Ground in Mzuzu in August 2017 as a 12-year-old.

Since 2015, Ascent has assessed over 25,000 young players from all over Malawi.

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