Clubs reflect on transfer window


A number of Super League teams have spoken of their delight and regrets over the just ended transfer window ahead of the 2018 TNM Super League season.

The new term rolls into life this weekend with all 16 elite sides in action.

On Tuesday, Super league of Malawi (SULOM) announced the closure of the transfer window which opened just after the end of the 2017 season.

Karonga United

Karonga United

Most of the clubs were active on the market rebuilding their sides to stand the heat in the new campaign.

Unlike in other seasons when most of the deals were done on the final day, this particular window witnessed lots of early transfers, triggered by Be Forward Wanderers who were beefing up for their brief CAF Champions league appearance.

While some teams are satisfied with the business conducted in the window, others have been left regretting.

Rookies Karonga United were the busiest club on transfer deadline day, roping in 8 new players among them Peter Nselema, Spikire Fumulani and Nangaunozge Luhanga from 2016 league champions Kamuzu Barracks.

“We have made the best deals and cannot wait for the start of the new season. Every department has been reinforced with at least one experienced player, so we are good to go,” said Karonga executive committee head Alufeyo Chipanga Banda.

Alufeyo Peter Chipanga Banda

Chipanga Banda: We have made the best deals.

Karonga who were relegated from the elite league in 2016, return with a date against Tigers on the opening day.

Tigers themselves are equally happy with the business done, having let go and brought in a number of players.

During the window, the team released about 6 players notably defender Peter Cholopi, midfielder Dan Kumwenda and goalkeeper William Thole who all  headed for Wanderers while winger Precious Phiri joined Nyasa Big Bullets.

Arriving at the Kau-Kau outfit have been household names such as strikers Jimmy Zakazaka, Victor Nyirenda and budding stars Blessings Phiri and Chikaiko Batson.

Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika has faith in the squad which he said is capable of winning the title.

“We are happy with the squad we have assembled. We lost some key players but got their replacements, what remains is to see if the new guys will deliver the goods, but we have no regrets about the just ended window,” said Alufandika.

Newcomers Nchalo United have almost maintained the squad that won promotion into the flagship league last season, with coach Charles Manda unfazed by the challenge ahead.

“After trying several new players, we have assembled a 25 man squad with most of the players from last season, but with a few additions. It’s a squad that keeps us aspiring for the best,” said Manda.

Among the new faces at the lower shire outfit are Ghanaian defender Daniel Oding and Nigerian journey man Ezekiel who has had unsuccessful stints with Be Forward Wanderers, Masters Security and Blantyre United.

Nchalo face Mzuni and Moyale Barracks on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Red Lions new coach Stereo Gondwe has made no additions to the squad after replacing caretaker boss Yohane Fulaye.

“This is the squad that finished 9th in the league last season, so I felt convinced that there is no need to beef up. These boys are eager to go and do the job in the 2018 season,” challenged Gondwe who will lead his charges against Dwangwa United and former team Mafco on the opening weekend.

Meanwhile, the transfer window has left Civil Sporting Club bruised.

According to general secretary Ronald Chiwaula, his team regrets missing out on two unnamed targets from Bullets and Tigers respectively.

“We tried to get the pair but their parent clubs refused to do business. I cannot mention their names because we intend to re-open talks in the next window, so that might jeopardise the deals. So I wouldn’t call it a successful window,” said Chiwaula.

Despite the setback, Civil still got some deals concluded, among them that of Jide Mbandambanda from Blantyre United and Timothy Silwimba from Mzuni.

Civil’s first outing of the season is a derby date against Masters Security on Saturday.