Malawi national women football team skipper Chisomo Kazisonga has, after lengthy contractual negotiations, signed a season-long contract with Austrian Women’s Bundesliga champions, SV NOSV Neulengbach.
In an interview from Vienna yesterday, the 30-year-old defender said she had signed as free agent after earlier exiting Lilongwe women football side, Skippers FC.
“We have already started preparations as the season kicks-off this August. I am happy now and there is nothing to worry about. It is a better deal compared to what we get in Malawi, where we just play for the love of the game,” Kazisonga said.
She refused to disclose her signing-on fee and monthly salary, but reports indicate that the club will also be responsible for her sports science degree studies at Vienna University.
Kazisonga reunited with Neulengbach last month having briefly left them to undergo trials with Austria league current champions Sankt Polten-Spr.
Neulengbach, who play in Uefa Champions League, finished second in the just ended season.
“There is new management and as you know, the season had that time just ended. The new management had to do some evaluation of the past season, and may be do some handovers,” she explained the delay.
Neulengbach have, on their website www.neulengbach.at/frauen/, since welcomed Kazisonga while also announcing the exit of another player Claudia Water. The team is also home to Nigerian striker Janet Owusu.
Skippers’ official Charles Mwenda yesterday confirmed that Kazisonga had signed for the Austrian club and that they released her as a free agent.
“We did not want to stand in her way. This is a plus for us to produce a player for Europe market. Considering that she is a pioneer player of our team, this will encourage the junior players,” Mwenda said.
Kazisonga becomes the second Malawi women player in Europe after Sweden-based striker Tabitha Chawinga.
Both players are, in addition to opening Europe doors for compatriots, expected to enhance the performance of Malawi women team once it is revived.
The Austrian side has since advised Kazisonga to eat a lot “because I need a little bit of weight.”
The deal was brokered by her friend and she was expected to undergo the trials in January, but delayed because of visa processes at Austrian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Malawi’s other women footballers based outside the country include Loveness Nyakamera and Chrissy Kasiya at South Africa’s Kanatal Ladies while Linda Chilewe and Eliza Chaphang’omba play for Zimbabwe’s Auckland Queens.
DD Sunshine chairperson David Dube said he was likely to export more women footballers this year, noting that unlike stiff competition which Malawi male footballers face, there are more opportunities for the ladies.
Greece-based Tawonga Chimodzi is the only male Malawian footballer based in Europe.