One of the coveted youngsters in Enos Chatama’s Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, Yamikani Mologeni could be on his verge of being promoted to the senior team following his impressive performance this season.
The base of a great full back must be that of a solid 1V1 defender, and this the foundation. This means, standing players when they are dribling, front foot tackles, strong in duels, good ball winer and can track runners in them.
Mologeni is the fullback whose primary role is to stop wingers. Usually, wingers as very skilful and fast players.
He excuted his role very well when the team beat Blue Eagles in the semifinals of the FDH Bank Cup, stopping Schumacker Kuwali, Micium Mhone who were playing interchangeably as the the left wingers.
Although speed is essential for a fullback, it all depends on the tactics used by your team. For example, some professional fullbacks are “slow”, but they play a crucial role in their teams. But with Mologeni, he can fit in all the tactics a coach can opt on that day.
With the fact that fullbacks are close contenders to defensive midfielders regarding their work rate in the field, Mologen works tirelessly, sprinting up and down for the total duration of the game. He joins the midfield in attack, and he runs back to a defensive position when the possession is lost. He has no time to recover their breath.
Knowledge of the 20-year-old boy comes out of necessity. Fullbacks can easily get caught out of position if they are not careful. So while he is tempting to join the attack, he is always aware of the context and only sprint forward when the play requires it. He understands both the defensive and offensive aspects of the game. As a result, he switches from covering his teammates back to overlap to provide attacking options.
Enos Chatama spotted brilliance in the young overlapping right back and he could not hesitate to give him the armband earlier this season following Innocent Msowoya’s departure from the Club.
Emmanuel Savieli, Chikumbutso Salima could be very prosperous names to the Palestines since they are attackers, but there is Captain who is hooking the team with his personality and brilliance.
20 years old, some fans might criticise that he is still young, but Wa Mpira can refer them to Charles Petro who got promoted from the Reserve side while 19 years old and he went on to grab the defender of the season in that year, outclassing some notable defenders who were experienced enough in the elite league.
Nyasa Big Bullets Senior team have competitions in every position but the squad looks unbalanced.
The team have 4 left backs, four centre backs, 3 defending midfielders, 2 deep lying midfielders, two attacking midfielders, 3 right attackers, 3 left attackers but there is one position that has no competition.
The people’s team only have one natural right back, Gomezgani Chirwa and in some games they have been improvising Precious Phiri in absence of the pacey right back.
With the presence of Mologen at the Reserve side, Pasuwa may not need to look away from the players that are very aware of the team’s philosophy.
Mologen scored 11 goals last season, have scored 5 goals this season and he is the channel where the majority of Bullets’ goals are being synthesised.
He as a captain, was named the man of the match in a game that Chatama’s boys registered their famous victory over the Super League side, Blue Eagles in the quarterfinal of the FDH Bank Cup at Kamuzu stadium.
One-all with only two minutes to go before the final whistle and the game looking like it was heading for post-match penalties, Bullets Reserves goalkeeper, Rahaman John, at some point got himself in a time-wasting act by going down the turf with the ball in his palms, Mologeni as the Captain was seen shouting at his keeper to pass him the ball quickly. And when the ball was on his feet, Mologeni swiftly initiated a sweeping move which gave birth to the winning goal.
Being the one who missed the penalty when his team, Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve lost to their brothers Nyasa Big Bullets Senior team in the FDH BankCup in 2019, now Mologen could be the happiest player after seeing his form coming back.
“I was a deeply distressed man when I missed the penalty against the main team last year. It was the penalty which could have helped my side to win. It was a miss that condemned my team to a painful exit in the FDH Bank Cup,” Mologen recalled when speaking to the Nyasa Big Bullets media team some weeks ago.
“When I went home, I was still a distressed person that I couldn’t sleep that night. I was always thinking of the penalty miss which happened in front of a big crowd. Everybody knew that Yamikani Mologeni has missed a decisive penalty,” he explains.
Mologen heaped praise on to his coach for his resurgence saying he was mentoring him everyday to make sure that he rediscovers his best form.
“My performance was shaken thereafter. It was on and off. It took a lot of time to make myself start playing as better as I used to, but I thank my coach who kept pushing me to rediscover my form. He could give me examples of great players around the world who also missed decisive penalties and yet managed to bounce back,” added the Captain.
Mologeni was the pillar for the Young People’s team in a devastating 7-1 victory over Mwanza Prescane on Wednesday proving two assists in the game.
With him on the way to the senior team, could be Chikumbutso Salima, Lyton Chinong’one among others who have been very influential for the young people’s team this season.
Mologeni might find it hard to penetrate into the starting xi considering Chirwa’s experience and performance but he could benefit from Pasuwa rotation.
Giving him game time, he can gain experience and give Chirwa the competition that he deserves at the team.