Windows of opportunity continue to open for Nyasa Big Bullets stars, with key players Mike Mkwate and Precious Sambani passing trials at South African clubs.
Mkwate and Sambani follow in the footsteps of exciting winger Peter Banda, who signed for Moldova side Sheriff Tiraspol on a six-month loan deal early this week.
Sheriff have the option to make the deal permanent.
The three players were instrumental in Bullets’ title-winning campaign last season and are part of the Malawi National Football Team setup.
Sambani, a versatile overlapping defender who easily moves upfield to add numbers and score vital goals, is set to join South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Golden Arrows in June after two-week trials in the Rainbow Nation.
Dribbling wizard Mkwate, who also scores regularly from his central midfield role, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with South African Glad Africa championship side Polokwane City.
The team was relegated from the PSL last season.
In a statement, Bullets confirmed about the departure of the pint-sized midfielder, who is also famed for his defence-splitting passes.
“Mkwate, who turns 23 in May, will embark on a fresh career in RSA [Republic of South Africa] after agreeing terms and signing a two-and-half-year deal with Polokwane. The Malawian is expected to leave for South Africa on Friday [today] to join his new club.
“Mkwate has always been committed and contributed immensely to the success of Bullets since joining from Wizards FC,” reads a statement from Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga, who was tight-lipped on the transfer fee involved.
While at Bullets, Mkwate helped the club to win the Carlsberg Cup in 2017, followed by back-to back TNM Super League titles in 2018 and 2019.
Mkwate promised to deliver at his new club: “I am determined to help the team. I had been waiting for this chance, so I have grabbed it with both my hands.”
Chigoga said Bullets had also struck a deal with Arrows who will get Sambani on board in June.
“We have reached an agreement with Golden Arrows, over Sambani’s services. The player is back in the country after successful trials in South Africa. He flew back into the country on Monday and will join Arrows in June. This is the agreement we have with our friends in South Africa,” Chigoga said.
While Sambani will still serve Bullets, should the football season resume before June, the People’s Team is expected to work overtime in a bid to fill the void left by Mkwate and Banda.
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.