PSL teams hunt for the next Mhango

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Former Jomo Cosmos striker Esau Kanyenda, who is now a scout, has told FARPost that some PSL teams have contacted him looking for the next ‘Gabadinho Mhango’ back home in Malawi.

Kanyenda, who is based in the United Kingdom, said Mhango’s exploits with Orlando Pirates could open more windows of opportunities for Malawian footballers.

“Some PSL teams have been in touch with me looking for players of similar qualities to Gabadinho Mhango back home in Malawi but it has not been easy since I am based this side [UK],” Kanyenda explained to FARPost.

Former Jomo Cosmos striker, Esau Kanyenda.

“However, I have people who are doing the scouting on the ground. Hopefully, by next season we would have identified someone. The interest in more talent from Malawi is not surprising as Gabadinho is doing well for Pirates. Teams want the next Gabadinho from Malawi. It is a motivation for players to work hard.”

With the PSL games shelved due to Covid-19, Mhango is the overwhelming favourite to win the PSL Golden Boot Award for the 2019/20 season as he leads the scoring chart with 14 goals from 21 games.

The forward is ahead of the likes of SuperSport United’s Bradley Globler (12 goals), Highlands Park’s Peter Shalulile (12), AmaZulu’s Bongi Ntuli (12), Kaizer Chiefs’s Samir Nurkovic (11) and Golden Arrows’s Knox Mutizwa (11).

If he eventually claims that award, he would become the first Malawian to claim such award in PSL modern era.

In fact, Mhango has closed in on the record of compatriot Kanyenda who finished as the second leading PSL scorer with 17 goals in the 2001/02 season, one goal behind the late Lesley Manyathela, then of Pirates.

Last year, Mhango became Malawi’s all-time leading scorer in Cosafa Cup, as he has scored six goals in eight games, overtaking Kanyenda’s five.

Mhango signed for Bloemfontein Celtic in 2013 from Nyasa Big Bullets, Malawi’s most successful elite TNM Super League side after spending two seasons with them.

Before joining Bullets, Mhango made a name at second tier side Brave Warriors where he was a regular scorer.

However, the switch to PSL was not all that smooth.

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Some years ago, AmaZulu and Free State Stars turned Mhango down after he had attended trials before Celtic gave him a second chance having also earlier decided against signing him.

Kanyenda, meanwhile, has so far facilitated transfers of compatriots Khuda Muyaba and Denis Chembezi to Polokwane City from clubs in Malawi.

Apart from Cosmos, Kanyenda made a name at the Rise and Shine as he helped them earn PSL promotion a few years ago.

RELATED STORY: Mhango expects no changes after break

By Peter Kanjere

FARPost’s Africa correspondent

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