Two Malawian youngsters Yamikani Chaima and Felix Njawala Jr left the country last week to undergo six-month trials at the Alicante Football Academy in Spain.
The St Andrews High School pair has linked up with compatriot Zizwa Mcpetrie Hanjahanja, who joined the academy last year and featured for the Malawi Under-20 National Football Team during the Cosafa Youth Championship in South Africa.
Chaima said he would work hard to clinch a deal and settle in Spain
“It is my longtime dream to play in Europe. I have waited for so long to have this chance. I am now adapting to the new environment, players and coaches. Everything here is new but I am working very hard in training,” he said.
The 19-year-old trained under the tutelage of former Flames and Nyasa Big Bullets winger Fischer Kondowe for about four months to improve his fitness and technique.
Kondowe said the boy would shine in Spain.
“I have been working with a lot of kids for the past eight months. Yamikani is an exceptional talent. I have no doubt the boy will adapt and excel in Spain,” he said.
Yamikani’s father, Thom Chaima, expressed hope his son would excel.
“Yamikani is a football genius. Last time he played in South Africa in one of the academies, he mesmerised a lot of coaches,” he said.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu has wished the duo the best as Malawi football needs to grow and match North and West African countries.
“These are the players for the future; our hope for tomorrow. We need more of these players training in Europe under highly qualified coaches who also provide high training standards in order for our national teams to do better. We are slowly making a breakthrough where more players are now getting European links,” he said.
So far, Malawi has Francisco Madinga at Dila Gori in Georgia and Charles Petro at Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol.
Another Malawian player Yamikani Chester moved from North Carolina to Las Vegas last year in the United States League Championship.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.