Maritzburg United have given Flames attacker, Robin Ngalande, a cold shoulder—days after another South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) side, Cape Town City, dumped Malawian winger Isaac Kaliyati.
South Africa’s Kick-Off football magazine’s online edition on Saturday reported that Maritzburg released Ngalande because he was not the sort of a player they were looking for.
However, Paul Mitchell, Manager of the former youth team player for Atletico Madrid in Spain and Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), insisted on Saturday that Maritzburg had simply exhausted their quota for foreigners.
“He was going to sign but they had to take a foreign goalkeeper [Ghanaian Richard Ofori] for their last spot. He is with Baroka now [attending trials]. At Maritzburg, they wanted him but the foreign quota spot was gone,” Mitchell insisted.
However, after releasing Ngalande, Maritzburg signed Australian junior international midfielder Liam Yuolley.
Ngalande, who hit form while playing for Masters Security FC on a six-month contract that has expired, is hoping to resurrect his career in the PSL after stints with BidVest Wits, Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars.
Ngalande is now trying his luck with strugglers Baroka, who, after finishing bottom last season, secured their PSL status through play-offs. Ngalande scored in a training match for Baroka over the weekend.
However, it remains to be seen if Baroka’s quota for foreign players is available as the team has signed midfielder Talent Chawapiwa (181 centimetres and 71 kilogrammes) from FC Platinum in Zimbabwe. Baroka are also eyeing Zambian striker Brian Mwila and Tanzanian defender Abdi Banda.
Some theories suggest that Malawian players fail to compete during trials because they are considered too small, with the Flames’ poor record on the international stage being another minus.
Ngalande, aged 25, weighs 63 kilogrammes and stands at 170 centimetres. Yuolley, 20, the Australian who has signed for Maritzburg, weighs 71.9 kilogrammes and stands at 189 centimetres. Both are attacking midfielders.
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