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Cosmos turn to John Banda

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After dumping Muhamad Sulumba, South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side, Jomo Cosmos have shifted their attention to Blue Eagles versatile captain, John ‘CJ’ Banda.

Banda, who is among the Flames high-scoring midfielders, is this week expected to leave for trials at Cosmos, Eagles general secretary, Ackis Muwanga, confirmed reluctantly on Monday.

“Where have you heard this? It is true, but too early for us to comment as we are waiting for his air ticket,” he said, without elaborating how Banda could be signed outside the PSL transfer window.

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Recently, Cosmos signed Micium Mhone also from the Eagles after he underwent trials alongside Sulumba from Be Forward Wanderers. Cosmos released the burly striker Sulumba after two months.

Mhone and Banda are also police officers. Banda, who is in Flames camp, yesterday said he was in the dark over Cosmos’ invitation. He has seven goals in 39 caps.

“But if it is true, then I will have to know why he [Sulumba] was off-loaded and learn from that,” Banda said when asked if he was not afraid of also being released.

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Muwanga suggested that Mhone made it because he comes from the MPS where discipline is paramount.

“It looks like an out-right deal, but before being hired for any job, there are always interviews,” he explained.

Cosmos’ local contact, Ben Chiwaya was not available yesterday, whereas Mhone refused to comment much on Banda’s trials.

“The boss [Jomo Sono] might have the details. I remember he asked about him and he nearly travelled to watch him play for Eagles during recent police games in Swaziland,” Mhone said from Johannesburg.

It appears Cosmos started processing Banda’s potential transfer before the PSL window closed, hence the deal could go through. Alternatively, Banda could join once Eagles agree to release him as a free agent.

Cosmos sources attributed Sulumba’s release to sudden drastic loss of form, which the club officials linked to home-sickness.

“There was a time Bra J [Sono] asked him to improve on keeping the ball and also his power. He noted that he was going to the ground so easily,” said the source in South Africa.

Sulumba on Monday said he was not interested in talk about his stay at Cosmos.

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