Malawi national football team defender Peter Cholopi has agreed a three-year contract extension with Be Forward Wanderers.
Cholopi’s contract expires in December and any delays at Lali Lubani Road would have given the chance to the former Tigers skipper to open negotiations with other suitors.
This would have enabled him to sign a pre-contract with a team of his choice having gone into the final six months of his deal.
Realising the need to retain the services of the rock steady defender, Wanderers acted swiftly to engage the player in new contract talks.
Wanderers General Secretary, Victor Maunde, said they were excited with Cholopi’s commitment to remain a Nomad for another three years.
“I can confirm that we have successfully concluded our contract negotiations with Cholopi and he will continue playing for our team for the next three years. This is not an ordinary player. He is a regular national team defender and we had no choice but to extend his stay at our club.
“We are happy to have made a breakthrough in the contract talks and up next is our goalkeeper William Thole whose contract is also expiring in December. We still need his services and we will open talks with him soon,” Maunde said.
Cholopi said he was delighted to extend his stay at the club.
“Wanderers is a team I have followed and adored as a teenager. I am excited to sign a contract extension with the team I love most. I believe I have unfinished business at the team, hence my commitment to be there for another three years. I know that competition for places will continue to be stiff but I will work harder to keep my place in the starting lineup,” he said.
Flames Coach Meck Mwase congratulated Cholopi for the contract renewal, saying it was an indication of the club’s confidence in his ability to deliver.
“I want all my players to be settled at their clubs. This will help them to perform well when called for national team assignments. A player who is settled at his club will most likely be a consistent performer in national colours.
“Consistency is very vital in football. Renewal of the contract is good, not only for him as a national team regular but his career as well. He also needs to play every week so that he is match-fit at all times,” Mwase said.
Meanwhile, Wanderers are yet to decide the future of Nigerian lanky goal scorer Babatunde Adepoju whose contract is also expiring in December.
Maunde said he was not in a position to state whether Babatunde’s contract would be renewed or not.
“There is no news so far regarding Baba’s contract. We are yet to decide and once matters are sorted out, we will communicate,” he said.
Babatunde and Thole are the only players yet to be given contract extensions by the Nomads.
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.