Belgium trials excite Sambani, Banda

Blossoming left-back Precious Sambani and striker Peter Banda say they are thrilled with the prospects of undergoing trials at reigning Belgian champions Club Brugge.

The two-week trials, which will run from August 17 to 31,  have been arranged by Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG).

Belgium bound: Sambani

It provides the upcoming duo with a window of opportunity to showcase their talents in a top European league.

An excited Sambani yesterday said: “I am thankful to the Almighty God and the coach for this opportunity and I promise to give all it takes for me to make the grade.

“It is very rare for such opportunities to open up and I will grab it with both hands. It is all about being focused and giving your all.”

On his part, Banda, who recently underwent trials at South African side Orlando Pirates, also said he is ready for the task.

“They are the champions of Belgium and obviously I am excited with such a prospect. Hopefully, I will impress,” said the Under-20 national team and Griffin Young Stars talisman.

RVG said in an interview on Thursday that he recommended the two players because they have shown a lot of potential.

“These are among the upcoming players that have shown a lot of promise, but I won’t say much until their visas are processed and they are ready to go,” he said.

RVG said the two players’ visas are currently being worked on “and normally they take about 10 to 12 days to be processed.”

He was also quoted by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Facebook Page as saying: “Belgium is conducive for African players as most stars have made it big in Europe by passing through Belgium.

“It is part of my responsibility to facilitate opportunities for Malawian players. I will be taking more players to Europe in the coming days.”

Should Sambani and Banda make the grade in Belgium, they will join the Malunga brothers—the late Holman and Kennedy—who also played in the Belgian third-tier and top-flight league sides, respectively. Kennedy played for Cercle Brugge K.S.V.

Frank Sinalo and Gift Zakazaka are other players who had unsuccessful trials in Belgium.

Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging, commonly referred to as Club Brugge, are based in Bruges. The team was founded in 1891 and is one of the most decorated clubs in Belgian football. They have been Belgian league champion on 15 occasions, second only to rivals Anderlecht.

Currently, they have three Africans on their books including Zimbabwean Marvelous Nakamba and Angolan Clinton Mata.

Other Malawian players to have played in overseas leagues include Ernest Mtawali (France, Argentina, Italy and Saudi Arabia); John Maduka (Norway); Esau Kanyenda (Russia); Dan Chitsulo (Germany) Russell Mwafulirwa (Sweden);  Joseph Kamwendo , Clement Kafwafwa(Denmark) and Tawonga Chimodzi (Greece).

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