The more things change, the more they remain the same. Be Forward Wanderers’ duo Jabulani Linje and Precious Msosa’s Japanese trials have turned into a flop just as was the case with Joseph Kamwendo and Peter Wadabwa last year.
Despite the Nomads’ assurance that they had learnt from Kamwendo and Wadabwa’s botched-up trials, it has emerged that their team-mates are also on a ‘sight-seeing tour’ as they have not attended any trials for the three weeks they have spent in Japan because teams are on off-season holiday.
Linje, sounding relaxed, told Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) yesterday morning that at the time they arrived in the Japan, the season was coming to an end.
“We were well received here and in terms of our welfare, everything is fine.
“The only drawback is that we are not attending trials because we came at a time when the teams were going for off-season.
“But the officials here have assured us that they will talk to our [Wanderers] officials to arrange that we should come again during pre-season period,” he said.
The Nomads’ attacking midfielder said they are set to return home on December 14 as arranged.
“In the meantime, we are just reconditioning and attending gym.”
Nevertheless, Linje took the opportunity to wish his team the best of luck in their quest for the TNM Super League title.
“We are happy the team is doing well and I have all the confidence that we will win the title,” he said.
Nomads general secretary (GS) Mike Butao and chairperson Gift Mkandawire said it would be difficult for them to comment because they have not yet been briefed by their sponsors—Be Forward Limited—on the progress.
“I know the league only ended last week on December 2, but I was also told that this week the boys would have trials with YSCC Yokohama. So, it is difficult for me to comment because I am not sure what special arrangements, if any, the sponsors have made with the clubs. I will wait to be briefed first.
“I would also urge the players to desist from making comments to the media until the sponsors give us a full update,” he said.
However, a soccer analyst, George Kaudza Masina, said the Nomads should have learnt from last years’ experience.
“If the player’s [Linje] claim is anything to go by, then Wanderers are also to blame because they were supposed to ask for a full itinerary from their sponsors or the clubs where their players would attend trials. Otherwise, one would be tempted to think the players just went there for vacation,” he said.n