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Azerbaijan beckons for Robin Ngalande

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

On and off Flames forward Robin Ngalande has a chance to revive his football career as he is set to join an unnamed team in Azerbaijan in the on-going transfer window.

Ngalande, who has spent about six months without playing active football after terminating his contract with South African Premier Soccer League side Baroka FC, is reported to have been offered a deal.

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Paul Mitchel of South Africa’s Siyavuma Sports Group confirmed that discussions were at an advanced stage.

“Robin is going to join a team in Azerbaijan. But we will reveal other details when it is finished,” Mitchel said in a written response.

However, Ngalande was not readily available for his comment yesterday. The former Atletico Madrid Academy (Spain) player also played for Lilongwe-based side Masters Security FC at the start for the 2017 TNM Super League season and scored five goals before moving to Baroka.

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He scored three goals and managed two assists for Baroka in 26 appearances. Ngalande has struggled to settle at various clubs having played for other South African sides Bidvest Wits, Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town FC.

Former Civil Sporting Club and Silver Strikers coach Thom Mkorongo said this is an opportunity for Ngalande to revive his career.

“It is good news for the player because he has stayed for a long time without playing football. He is one of the talented players in the country and he could do well in Azerbaijan,” Mkorongo said.

Ngalande came into the limelight when South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns spotted him during the 2009 African Youth Championship in Algeria where Malawi claimed bronze to earn a historic qualification for the World Youth Championship in Nigeria.

In 2010, Madrid spotted him after impressive performances for Sundowns Academy during a youth tournament held in Spain. Azerbaijan’s Premier League is named Topaz Premyer Ligasi.

Meanwhile another Malawian striker Atusaye Nyondo is still hunting for a club after he was released by Bloemfontein Celtic last year.

Nyondo has not played competitive football for close to six months. While at Celtic, he struggled for game time due to injuries.

Azerbaijan fast facts

Official name: Republic of Azerbaijan

Neighbouring countries: Russia, Iran, Armenia and Georgia.

Capital: Baku

Population: 9,877,000 (2017 est)

Total area: 86,600 sq km

Football association: Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan

Home stadium: Baku Olympic Stadium

Current Fifa ranking: 107 (December 2018)

Highest ranking: 73 (July 2014)

Lowest ranking: 170 (June 1994)

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