Nyasa Big Bullets and Flames defender, Charles Petro, is expected to leave the country today to attend month-long trials at Moldovan top-tier side FC Sheriff Tiraspol.
The development comes after the defender rejected a trial with South Africa Premier Soccer League side, Polokwane City.
Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Escort Chinula, said the club was delighted with the development as top European teams can easily scout the player.
“We are very happy because Petro will be turning 20 next month. The youngster has made good progress in the last two years. He came through our structures at Bullets Reserve in 2018 before being promoted last year. The trial comes just after a season with the main team. We are not surprised because he has also fitted at the national team. It’s a great motivation to all the reserve team players including senior players,” he said.
In reaction, Petro said he will work hard to clinch a deal as opportunities like this one were rare.
“If it means dying on the pitch, I will die. I will make sure that I impress. Let me take this opportunity to ask all Mapale [a corruption of Palestinians as Bullets fans are known] to pray for me as I leave,” said the defender.
Petro is widely viewed as a natural replacement to former Flames and Bullets defence pillar, Peter Mponda, because of his flexibility with the ball and ability to cut opponents’ attack and initiate moves.
Petro, a graduate of Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves, had a grand 2019 season playing for the first team in his debut TNM Super League appearance, helping The People’s Team defend the title.
The Moldova Nat ional Division champions are based in Tiraspol. The team was formed in 1996 as Tiras Tiraspol, before it was refounded as Sheriff the following year, taking its name from the company which has since been sponsoring it.
The first trophy of “the Wasps” was the Moldovan Cup, which they won in the 1998–99 season, when they also made their debut in the first division.
FC Sheriff honours include 18 championship titles, 9 Cups and 7 Super Cups – all competition records.
On the European stage, Sheriff earned a spot in the first qualifying round of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, the same stage they finished last season. The team has reached the group stage of the UEFA Europa League on four occasions.
Petro’s departure to the Eastern Europe country comes some days after Be Forward Wanderers winger, Francisco Madinga, sealed his move to a Georgian club, Dila Gori.
Another Nomads player, Chembezi Dennis, is undergoing trials at Polokwane whereas Kamuzu Barracks holding midfielder, Chikoti Chirwa, is also attending trials at Amazulu in South Africa.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.