Faint hope for Surestream Academy
There is remote hope for salvation at Surestream Football Academy following foreign investors’ interest in the Blantyre football education facility, which closed shop last week.
Patrick Kulemeka, who was a technical operations manager at Surestream, confirmed on Friday about the inquiries.
“I received inquiries from South Africa and Europe. I have since developed a sponsorship concept which I have submitted to them. Initially, they wanted us to send them players, but I told them that we are interested in building on the existing development programme,” he said.
Kulemeka urged Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to, through the Fifa-funded Under-15 pilot national league, consider utilising the academy, which is based at Surestream Stadium in Chilomoni Township.
“For four years, Surestream made some investments and I am sure the owner [Chris Pitman] should be giving in a good word about the facility. For us Malawians, the question is ‘what did we learn from this investment?’ It was not a Blantyre facility but for the whole nation,” he explained.
Surestream Petroleum Limited stopped sponsoring the academy, citing falling oil prices on the world market, among others.
The company invested some K183 million (US$ 250,000) in the academy as part of its corporate social responsibility while eyeing Lake Malawi oil exploration.
Surestream, has within four years of existence, unearthed talented players such as Brighton Munthali, Levison Maganizo and Ernest Tambe, who are on Malawi senior national team’s ladder.
Earlier, Fam president, Walter Nyamilandu, whose body has now repossessed Surestream Stadium, vowed to ensure that another investor takes over the facility.
“We need to identify a partner as soon as possible. They [Surestream] came up with a good model for football development. We will secure the facility. Our plan is to encourage and support academies,” Nyamilandu said last week.
Fisd Company Limited, which wants to establish an academy in Lilongwe, has since ruled itself out from the Surestream equation.
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