Babatunde Adepoju makes last call
By Mphatso Malidadi & Llywellenie Mpasa:
Nyasa Big Bullets talisman Babatunde Adepoju was on cloud nine on Wednesday night when he was crowned 2021 Airtel Top 8 Cup Player-of-the- Tournament and top goal scorer during an award ceremony at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
From the two awards, Babatunde pocketed K1 million.
The lanky Nigerian inspired Bullets with his eight goals in the competition despite missing the final.
“This is my first professional award and I am excited. I have been in this country for some time, playing for Masters Security and Mighty Wanderers, but I did not achieve anything like this. I owe it to my teammates,” he said.
Babatunde was nominated alongside his Bullets teammate Lanjesi Nkhoma, as well as Silver Strikers’ forward Stain Davie and left winger Zebron Kalima.
The winner played a big role in helping Bullets win the cup for the first time ever with eight goals in three matches.
He scored four in a single game against Mighty Wanderers in the semifinals.
Despite missing the final due to suspension, he beat, by far, records set by previous golden boot winners in the first three editions who never went past three goals.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu said they were working hard to speed up Babatunde’s naturalisation process to enable him to play for the Malawi National Football Team.
“This is a normal phenomenon around the world. We will try our best to ensure that he plays for Malawi. It is up to him to compete based on his performance,” Nyamilandu said.
Airtel Malawi plc Managing Director Charles Kamoto said this year’s event was special.
“We are working to improve soccer in Malawi, to resonate with the agenda of Fam and appreciate the partnership which is there between us,” Kamoto said.
Fam First Vice President and Head of Competitions Jabbar Alide disclosed that the competition’s season five would feature top eight teams in the first round of the Super League.
The competition is scheduled to run from October to December.
Bullets edged Silver Strikers 4-3 on post-match penalties following a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time.