Mathews Banda: Mufulira Wanderers’ Rising Left-Back Star

Mathews Banda: Mufulira Wanderers’ Rising Left-Back Star

In recent times, Zambian football has faced challenges in finding natural left backs, often resorting to makeshift solutions like Rodrick Kabwe. However, a young talent is emerging as a potential solution.

Mighty Mufulira Wanderers’ left back, Mathews Banda, is among the most promising players in the MTN Super League. The 21-year-old has made a strong start in the league and shows great potential for the future.

Known as GAZA, Mathews Banda comes from a family of eight, where he is the fifth child. He began playing football at the age of 7, honing his skills in street games and gradually improving. His late father, Mr. Friday Banda, recognized his talent early on and supported his development as a young footballer.

Encouraged to balance education with football, Banda’s skills blossomed during his school days, particularly under the guidance of Mr. Chikwasha, who played a crucial role in his development. Representing Lusaka in the Coca-Cola schools tournament boosted his confidence.

He then joined Chongwe United before moving to Lusaka to join Red Arrows under-19 team, where Boyd Simutowe and Lenson Sinkala oversaw his progress. Initially a midfielder, Simutowe converted him into a left back, a decision that proved successful as he helped Red Arrows U-19 win the league title.

Seeking more playing time and development, Banda moved to Sable Bulls, his current parent club, before being loaned to Young Zanaco. Training with Zanaco’s senior team accelerated his growth as a player. Despite being left out of pre-season preparations in 2023/2024, Kennedy Kalale, Zanaco’s goalkeeping coach, encouraged him to remain focused.

Following this setback, Banda trained with Mighty Mufulira Wanderers and impressed coaches Justin Chinama, Charles Kafula, and Harrison Tembo, leading to his signing with the club. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Zesco United at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Banda has settled well in Mufulira and is living his dream of playing in the Super League. In six league appearances, he has two wins, three draws, and one defeat. Notably, Mufulira Wanderers kept clean sheets against Red Arrows Football Club and Zanaco Football Club, teams Banda represented at the youth level.

Technically gifted with a strong left foot, Banda excels in set pieces. His height and physicality aid him in one-on-one situations, and his attacking prowess and width resemble his role model, Alfonso Davies, making him a modern fullback. He is enjoying his time in Mufulira, and fans should keep an eye on his progress.

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