Platinum eye Malawi defender

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Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) side FC Platinum are reportedly on the verge of completing the signing of Malawian defender Forster Namwela from Mighty Wanderers, after he impressed during a trial stint at the Zvishavane-based club.

The Mighty Wanderers skipper was one of three Malawian players who underwent trails at FC Platinum, together with Innocent Jere and Allan Kamanga.

However, while reports from Malawi seemed to suggest that FC Platinum had already signed the player for a fee of $10 000, coach Rahman Gumbo was singing a different tune.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday Gumbo — who once had a stint in Malawi at Telecom Wonderers before going to Botswana — admitted to have recommended the player, but said he was yet to get feedback from the club’s leadership.

“Yes Forster Namwela and three other Malawian players came for trials at the club where he did quite well. However, to say that we have already signed the player would be untrue.

“The actual position is I was impressed with the player and I only recommended him to the club leadership when we met and from there on, they were expected to start negotiations with his club in Malawi.

Since then I haven’t had any feedback from them, but we will know in due course,” said Gumbo.

While Gumbo was saying a deal was yet to be reached the Mighty Wanderers vice-secretary-general Richard Kambalame confirmed in an interview with a Malawian publication, The Nation that FC Platinum, who ended as the runners-up in the PSL had agreed to pay $10 000 as transfer fee.

“We made an offer which they countered. We eventually settled for $10 000. But they have not come to us following the agreement of the transfer fee. So we are just waiting to hear from them,” Kambalame said.

He also said Nomads, as Might Wanderers are affectionately known in Malawi, would miss their captain as he was the kingpin in their defence.

“We appreciate Forster’s contribution to the team and his move to a foreign league was long overdue. Hopefully it will be a stepping stone for a better move,” he said.

Mighty Wanderers coach Franco Ndawa even went as far as dedicating his team’s win over Big Bullets last weekend to the versatile 25-year-old defender, who he said, had played his last game for the club.

“It’s true, that this is Foster’s last game. We gave him this game to say a good bye to the Malawian soccer lovers. We couldn’t stand in Foster’s way.

A chance to play outside the country, it’s too good to turn down so this was like his bonus game,” said the coach.

Surprisingly, though Wanderers claim Platinum were impressed with Namwela, the player does not feature in the club’s 2012 Caf Champions League squad.

While FC Platinum failed to win the championship, after losing the race on goal difference to Dynamos, they got their Champions League ticket by virtue of finishing in second position.

They are arguably the best organised Premiership club and probably one of the best managed football teams on the continent and are currently renovating Mandava into a first-class facility so that it can host Champions League matches.