Malawi football academy launched: Mponda director, sponsored by UK’s Surestream

Surestream National Football Academy has been officially launched with national football team captain Peter Mponda appointed as its first Technical Director.

The academy  situated in formally MDC stadium in Chilomoni, in the commercial city of Blantyre has been established by a British firm exploring oil in Lake Malawi,  Surestream Petroleum of to the cost of K60 million, which include renovation of the structure, pitch and seating as well as refurbishment and repairs to changing rooms, toilets, conference room, gate-house, laundry and offices.

Surestream National Football academy is, among other objectives, aimed at developing football from grassroots level; provide football education as well as health-related lessons vital to the football game.

The academy is expected to carter for school children of ages 8-16 to be selected from Surestream Youth Development Leagues to be established across the country.

Malawi’s future talent showing their skills during the launching ceremony.-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Speaking during the launch, Mponda described the academy as a catalyst in the development of football in the country.

The former Black Leopards and Santos defender said he wants to part his skill to the youth.

”The academy is a chance for Malawi to show the world that our young players have talent. The lack of football academies in the country has for long time derailed football development.  The establishment of Surestream academy and Surestream Youth Development league will
provide the structure we need to develop football through schools across Malawi with the aid of Football Association of Malawi (Fam),” Mponda said.

Mponda said the structure will enable the country to be at par with other African countries like Zambia and Ivory Coast who are labeled as Africa’s giants in football.

Surestream Academy Director Peter Mponda speaking to the audience

“Half of Zambia’s team that won 2011 Africa Cup of Nations once attended football academy as well as some of the players in Ivory Coast team. The investment in the academy is worth it. Our players will be able to stay in the country to develop a professional career at Surestream Stadium and still continue with their education,” he added.

According to information from Surestream Academy, Mponda is expected to lead a team of Malawian football experts who are set to qualify for Level 1 coaching in UK.

Mponda, who has struggled with a knee injury for two seasons, is back in the country after terminating his contract with Santos.

In his words Surestream Petroleum Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Pitman said the academy will benefit the whole country, adding Malawi has talent and skills that need proper facilities for further development.

Fam General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda said Surestream Stadium will also be opened for local competitions, thus, after proper arrangements have been finalised between Fam and the stadium’s managers.

“This facility will be used to teach product values that are essential to football. They will teach football psychology that will benefit young players. There will also be health-related programmes as part of academy’s curriculum to address health problems in football like heart
diseases.  Talented players will be identified in our development centres across the country for the enrolment,” Nyirenda explained.

Around one million school children across the country stand a chance to qualify for the Surestream Youth Development League. It will be through such league players for the academy will be selected.

Apart from the academy facility as well as Surestream Stadium, Surestream Petroleum is expected to build players’ residences and classrooms in which they will continue their school and college lessons.

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