Sports

Chisomo bows out with grace

Defender Chisomo Kazisonga-Sauseng— once considered the glue that held Malawi women’s national football team in its formative years—has called it time, ending a successful 17-year career that took off in Lilongwe and peaked in Vienna, Austria.

Kazisonga-Sauseng, who has settled in Graz city, Austria where she went for studies in 2014, said she was concentrating on family life having recently married in the European country.

“I think it is enough and I am so proud of myself for everything I have contributed in my whole career. I am playing for Kotz-Haus Ladies [in Austria] but I haven’t done much for this team because I was so busy putting in place my private life and school. Last year, I got married so I had to slow down to take care of my new family.

“One needs to have a plan in place so that you have something to fall back on after retiring from football. This year, I will turn 35 so I want to do a bit of coaching and possibly stay with this team and learn more,” Kazisonga-Sauseng said.

She last featured for the national team in 2017 at the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Kazisonga-Sauseng made her national team debut in 2002, the very same year she signed for her first professional side, DD Sunshine.

The centre-back played for Sunshine until 2012 when she joined Skippers before a stint with Conduit Soccer Academy in Zimbabwe two years later.

Kazisonga-Sauseng got an opportunity to study sports science at Vienna University, Austria, in 2014 and also signed for SV Neulengbach in the European country, playing for them before switching to FC Altera until in 2017 when Kotz offered her a contract.

The soft-spoken defender, who was good at organising the She-Flames’ backline, reflected gracefully on her career.

“I have played football almost 17 years non-stop, playing for the national team in 374 matches. The whole dream started in Kasungu at Kamuzu Academy and has ended here in Graz. I am proud of myself and I have no regrets,” Kazisonga- Sauseng said.

The former skipper has bowed out days after veteran striker Linda Kasenda also hung up her boots, saying she wants to concentrate on her club career.

Kasenda, Maggie Chombo- Sadiki and Towera Vinkhumbo- Nyirenda were among the country’s pioneer national team players.

Little wonder, Towera, in the United Kingdom where she is to start a netball career at Severn Stars, lauded her former captain.

“Chisomo is a humble player. We used to call her Okocha because of her skill. I have been playing with Chisomo in defence for quite some time. If she was playing as a number four, I would play as a sweeper. She was so good a defender a striker could not go past her. She is the first woman I saw defending with a flying header,” Towera said.

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