Nyasa Big Bullets have played down criticism from some of their supporters for signing striker Maxwell Gasten Phodo who has scored one goal in 18 appearances for Silver Strikers this season.
The TNM Super League champions on Tuesday announced the signing of the 2021 TNM Super League Golden Boot race runner-up as a free agent on a three-year contract, after he recently parted ways with Lilongwe-based giants Silver Strikers.
However, the announcement met a lukewarm response from the club’s diehards.
Reacting to the announcement, one of the supporters Chimwemwe Mpazo wrote on Bullets Facebook: “Learn from mistakes Bullets. Why another signing that can’t compete at a continental stage? Is that a striker to use in CAF Champions League?”
Another supporter Henry Daudi said Phodo was a one-season wonder who failed to tick at Silver and will not benefit Bullets.
But Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said the supporters should be patient, saying it was the same when they signed Babatunde Adepoju from Wanderers.
The supporters also criticised the Bullets technical panel for signing the Nigerian.
However, they have now embraced the striker who is leading the TNM Super League scorers chart with 16 goals and also helped Bullets win the 2022 FDH Bank Cup and 2021 Airtel Top 8, winning the Golden Boot Award in both competitions.
Chigoga said: “It is forgivable that doubters always think that particular players cannot tick at Bullets. The club signs players it strongly feels have potential to contribute to its football success. Gasten Phodo will shock all the doubters. Watch this space.”
Phodo, on the other hand, said he was excited to join the People’s Team.
He said: “I’m so excited to join this big club. It’s been my desire to play for this team. Bullets are the biggest club in Malawi and it’s every player’s dream to play for this club, which is more organised and always encourages players to do better. It’s been my dream to be coached by Kallisto Pasuwa and I’m happy that finally, my wish has come to pass.”
On sentiments that he has been struggling to score this season, the player said he will prove he is worth his salt.
Phodo said: “I’m still the same player. Nothing has changed and everyone at Bullets should expect a lot from me.”
The forward took the local football fraternity by storm in 2021 in his debut season at Silver where he was runaway top scorer in the league for several months.
Phodo and Bullets’ Hassan Kajoke were tied at 13 goals apiece on the last day of the season.
Two goals from Kajoke in the last match for Bullets against Karonga United meant the Silver marksman finished as runner-up.