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Family cautious on Under-17 starlet

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The family of Malawi Under-17 National Football Team starlet, Peter Banda, says the Griffin Young Stars’ striker is not available for local teams.

Griffin Saenda jnr, who is also Banda’s uncle and coach at Griffin Young Stars, during the week said no local club had approached the youngster.

However, South Africa giants, Orlando Pirates, approached Banda’s family following his outstanding performances at the Cosafa Under-17 Championship in Mauritius recently.

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“He is still young and we cannot release him to any local team. He needs to grow mentally and physically before being exposed to football pressure. I have produced a number of players through this team and they are stars in the Super League. I know what is best for him. He needs to prepare for big tasks,” Saenda explained.

“He is also one of the key players in our team. We cannot just let him go at a time when we are still fighting for a good finish in the FMB Under-20 League in the Southern Region. The boy is also in Form Three as he has just passed his Junior Certificate of Education examinations.”

Saenda said Pirates were still interested in signing Banda for their reserve side, but the family was negotiating with Football Association of Malawi (Fam), through its Club Licencing and Transfer Matching System Manager, Casper Jangale, as it is illegal for a foreign team to sign a minor.

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“There are some things that we agreed with the South African team. As we are waiting for the right time when Fam will be able to accept the team to sign the player. I would prefer him playing for Orlando than a local team,” he said.

Recently, the Cosafa Under-17 Golden Boot award winner told our sister paper, The Sunday Times, that he was not in a hurry to sign for a big club.

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