The piece “Surestream oils soccer development” featured below was initially published in Malawi’s Mining Review Issue Number 21 2015 that is circulating this January 2015.
The full edition can be read here: Mining Review No. 21 January 2015.
To learn more about this monthly publication, edited by Marcel Chimwala, read the post about the “Voice of the mineral sector in Malawi”.
Surestream oils soccer development
Malawi football standards have for long suffered heavily due to lack of serious financial investment on developmental stage but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the coming in of oil exploration firm, Surestream Petroleum, which has established the Surestream National Football Academy in Blantyre.
The impact of the investment has by all senses uncovered the immense talent that the country has when it comes to this particular sport.
The academy which officially opened on October 11, 2012 with a targeted programme of grooming football stars of the future has instead produced stars of today. These amazing youngsters are featuring and ardently shinning in both the Under 20 and Under 17 Malawi Nation football teams.
The mesmerizing style of play that the team displays has proven to be a crowd puller in previously less interesting lower league football.
The Academy team is actually a typical exposé of Malawi football which has been known of having some embedment of traces of unorthodox style.
Talking to one renowned football pundit Charles Nyirenda, it is evident that Surestream Academy’s impact has injected some transformational push to the almost worshipped game in the country.
This kind of a developmental facility is what we have lacked for ages and that has been an injustice to the game. We have been preaching of grooming the talent we have but it was just a lip-service before the coming in of this strategic adoption by Surestream. Any Malawian who loves the game must be thankful for such an intervention,
He said that what Surestream is doing in terms of developing football is noticeable to all those who love the game.
One crucial thing that Surestream have done is entrusting the running of the entity into the hands of locals in the names of Peter Mponda and Patrick Kulemeka. Whoever gave them an advice to involve these two individuals did a very commendable service to this country. These two gentlemen are a right material for developmental football and you can see the job they are doing – excellent,
Meanwhile, Surestream Academy are the current Southern Region Football league leaders after they graduated from the lower league in their very maiden year of establishment.
They are also comfortably sitting on top of the current league standings with a nine point lead and it is likely that they will gain the championship in their first ever participation in the league, eventually earning a deserved promotion into the of the country’s top-flight league, the Super league.
Nonetheless, the Academy’s Director Peter Mponda is still not sure whether they will participate in the elite league, competing with the likes of Big Bullets, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers.
Management is yet to decide whether we should participate in the league should we eventually emerge champions. We have not started thinking about that because when the season was starting we set our target that we wanted to finish in top ten. Now things are going our way, we have reassessed our target that top ten was too easy and now we are aiming at top six,
said Mponda after a 3-2 win over Kabula United recently.
The ever modest Mponda further said that they are not being carried away with the results because they did not envisage Super league qualification in the first place.
We have not prepared for that,
said Mponda adding that the decision will depend on the management’s approval.
The Academy is situated in Chilomoni Township in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre in a Football Association of Malawi’s (FAM) facility, previously known as Malawi Development Corporation (MDC) Stadium.
Surestream pumped in a round figure of K60 million to refurbish the facility which was in a dilapidated state.
According to previous communication, the aim of establishing the academy is, among other objectives, to develop football from grassroots level; provide football education as well as health-related lesson vital to the sport.
Surestream also provides scholarship for young talent to pursue formal educational studies.
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