Malawi national football team players Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu have survived a shake-up at their South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Baroka FC which has released six players.
Although teams are not playing games due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced a lockdown in the Rainbow Nation, the Absa Premiership strugglers have moved to offload some players deemed surplus to requirements.
The development is great news to Mbulu after Baroka’s English Coach Dylan Kerr questioned his attitude after a game late last year.
Baroka Public Relations Officer, Richard Mashabane, said Mbulu and Phiri have great future at the Limpopo-based side.
“It is true that we have released some players but Mbulu and Phiri Jnr are still with us,” Mashabane said.
Mbulu, who signed a three-year contract after joining from Mozambican giants Costa do Sol in May last year, has failed to hit top form having played over 20 games without scoring a goal. Mashabane said some of the released players are Kamogelo Mogaswa, Ranga Chivaviro, Mogau Khwinana and Tebogo Sodi.
Malawian veteran football journalist, Benjamin Nyirenda who writes for South African publication Soccer Laduma, said this should be a wake-up call for Mbulu.
“Mbulu should count himself lucky for being retained in the team after playing 20 games without scoring. This should be wake up call for him and going forward, he should pull up his socks. Mbulu is a good player but has found the going tough in his first season in the PSL. But I see him improving with time,” Nyirenda said.
Mbulu joined Do Sol from Salima-based Malawi Defence Force side Mafco after finishing as TNM Super League’s top goal scorer with 19 goals in the 2016 season.
He also had a stint with Portuguese lower league side Sanjoanese but rejoined the Mozambican giants later.
Other Malawian players in South Africa’s Absa Premiership are Limbikani Mzava (Highlands Park), Khuda Muyaba and Dennis Chembezi (both Polokwane City), Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates) and Robert Ng’ambi of Black Leopards.
Striker Chawanangwa Kaonga plays for TS Sporting of the National First Division, South Africa’s second-tier.
This week, South Africa-based players’ agent, Mac Donald Aphane, said a window of opportunity could open for more Flames players in the next transfer window.
Aphane indicated that Kaonga and defender Miracle Gabeya have already attracted interest from league leaders Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City, respectively.