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Eric Kaonga missing amid interest

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Albert Chigoga

Ekwendeni Hammers’ left back Eric Kaonga is reported to be missing training amid interest from other TNM Super League teams.

Kaonga has been instrumental to Ekwendeni, helping the Super League debutants to second position on the table.

Reports are rife that the star is on defending champions Nyasa Big Bullets’ radar as a replacement for Precious Sambani, who is expected to join South Africa Premier Soccer League side Golden Arrows.

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However, Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga could neither deny nor confirm the reports.

“Eric is an Ekwendeni Hammers player and we cannot say anything about him. Our primary responsibility lies on the players who are in our camp. We can only shift our attention to other players after taking care of our players first.

“If we are to sign players from other teams, we first consider their potential to do well in our camp. There are no names for now. We will come out in public when a decision is made. This has been our way of doing things and we will maintain it,” Chigoga said.

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Hammers Team Manager Benjamin Thole confirmed other teams’ interest in several of his players.

“I can indeed confirm that several teams have made enquiries about players. However, what you are hearing about Eric is just a rumour. As a team, we are also just hearing it from the grapevine.

“But I can confirm that teams like Moyale Barracks, Red Lions and Kamuzu Barracks are eyeing some of our players. Our position is that none of our players will leave for free to join any team,” Thole said.

He also denied reports that Kaonga had stopped training with the team, saying the player was still committed to Hammers.

There are reports that Kaonga has been missing training for over a fortnight.

When The Daily Times called him, the player only said he was in his home village before cutting the line.

However, Thole maintained that the former Mlatho Mponela star was in Mzuzu, training with the team.

“Eric is here, in Mzuzu, training with his teammates. It is just that he has missed training for the past one week due to a slight injury he picked in one of our games before the suspension of football,” he said.

Kaonga is one of the best left backs in the country and is expected to earn a call-up to the Malawi National Football Team for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Sudan.

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