Malawi national football team defender, Charles Petro, has turned out to be a stalwart for Moldovan side Sheriff FC in his first season.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets star may be one of the newcomers at the European side but he has already convinced the coaching panel that he is good enough for a place in the starting lineup.
Petro signed for Sheriff early this year but took time to make his debut after Moldova’s football season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The season restarted last month with Petro playing seven full matches out of eight.
He featured in two cup matches in which Sheriff were booted out by Petrocub on goal difference.
Petro then went on to make five league appearances to cement his place in the first eleven.
However, Sheriff’s website has indicated that Petro missed last Sunday’s league match against Dinamo Auto due to suspension after picking two yellow cards.
According to the website, the Flames centre back got his first caution on June 26 in a cup match when Sheriff beat Petrocub 2-1 before accumulating the second card on July 23 in a 1-0 win over Milsam.
Despite missing last Sunday’s action, Petro has proved to be an influential player at the club as he has been starting all league matches.
The Malawian is expected to return to action on Saturday against Floresti.
Sheriff currently lead the Moldova league with 18 points from six matches, followed by Petrocub who have 16 points from the same number of matches.
Petro was not available for comment as his phone went unanswered on several occasions but Flames Coach Meck Mwase congratulated the youngster for making the grade after just a few matches.
“I am impressed with Petro’s performance. It is not easy for a player from Malawi to walk straight into a European team’s lineup just after a few games. I remember talking to Petro when he made his debut from the bench. I told him not to worry but to work hard if he was to secure a place in the starting lineup,” Mwase said.
He said securing a place in the starting lineup would give Petro confidence to fight for a move to bigger leagues in Europe.
“I have followed Petro in Moldova and I can assure you that he is doing well. He is playing each and every game for Sheriff, a development that will give him confidence that he is capable to play for any league in Europe. I encourage him not to relax but to continue working hard,” Mwase said.
Petro joined Sheriff in February from Bullets for an undisclosed fee.