For the first time in the country, a Super League team has a female head coach.
Her name is Karen Chaula and Blantyre-based strugglers Ntopwa Football Club have hired her to rescue their season.
Ntopwa had owner Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman doubling roles as technical director and coach throughout the first round of the season after parting ways with Trevor Kajawa, who was in charge towards the end of last season.
Osman said Chaula is not new at Ntopwa, where she worked as development officer before.
“We have the belief that she will help us to escape relegation. We have confidence in her ability to do the job. She was with us during our time in the lower league; so we thought it wise to have her back. We want her to lead us in the second round,” Osman said.
Chaula said she accepts the challenge of helping Ntopwa escape relegation.
The Caf C Coaching Licence holder said she remains confident that Ntopwa can rediscover their winning formula in the second round and become a force team to reckon with.
“The club owner asked me to come and lead the technical team and I have accepted. I found it necessary to come and help the team escape relegation.
“I am happy that the players have welcomed me as their coach. We will see how best to move forward so that we start winning matches in the second round,” Chaula.
The new coach’s immediate task will be to find a replacement for veteran defender-cum-midfielder George Nyirenda, who has parted ways with Ntopwa after five months.
Nyirenda said the agreed period of playing for Ntopwa had expired.
“The agreement was that I would help Ntopwa in the first round of the Super League. I am yet to make my next move. I have since written the club owner about this and he has given me the go-ahead. I will announce my next move in the course of the transfer window,” he said.
Osman said he was thankful that Nyirenda accepted to play for Ntopwa and wished him well.
“He brought in the experience we needed. He is a top class player and we would have loved to have him in the second round. But he wants to go and we just have to let him go,” Osman said.
Ntopwa start the second round campaign with two away fixtures t this weekend against Karonga United on Saturday and Chitipa United the following day.
Ntopwa are 13th on the table with 14 points from 15 matches.