Caren Chaula says she is proud to be the first woman to coach a top flight TNM Super League outfit following her appointment as Ntopwa FC interim head coach.
She has also become the third female coach to take charge of a men’s top-flight league side in Africa, following in the footsteps of Ethiopian Meseret Manni who coached Dire Dawa in 2015 and Sierra Leonean Victoria Conte, who was hired as East End Tigers coach in 2019.
Amaghetto Kids announced Chaula’s appointment yesterday after completing the first round under the tutelage of patron and technical director Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman.
In an interview yesterday, Chaula said a woman is capable of handling a Super League club.
She said: “I will prove that there is no difference—a woman can coach a Super League club. God gave me a talent and He will lead me.”
On whether she won’t be intimidated coaching men who are used to male coaches, Chaula, who is also a CAF coaches educator, said it will not be the first time for her to handle a men’s team.
“I started with Angaliba FC, then Ntopwa Under-20. Now it will be their senior team,” she said.
Chaula said although she has not been given a target, she will strive to help the team bring the desired results in their remaining fixtures.
“I do not have Super League experience and I am still learning the ropes. However, I know nothing is impossible for me to achieve success if I put everything in God’s hands,” she said.
Osman yesterday said they are confident that Chaula, who has been promoted from the club’s Under-20 outfit, will steer the club to a good finish.
“Caren was coaching our men’s Under-20 team last season and she proved to be a good coach. We believe that she can as well lead our main team in the top-flight league,” he said.
Osman added that they have roped in the female coach as a way of women empowerment and they are confident that she will be a role model to both existing and aspiring female coaches in the country.
Chaula’s first assignment will be away in the Northern Region for a double-header against Chitipa United and Karonga United at Karonga Stadium.
She holds a CAF-C coaching licence and has six years football coaching experience.
Although, the Confederation of African Football (CAF)-B licence is the minimum qualification for a TNM Super League club coach, the 43-year-old has been given the green light after Football Association of Malawi recently gave Super League teams a waiver to deploy CAF-C holders with at least three years experience.
Ntopwa are 13th in the 16 team league with 14 points from 15 games.