By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Blantyre’s own Isaac Jomo Osman from the heart of Bangwe township in Malawi truly personifies the essence of passion and true sportsmanship.
Osman’s unwavering dedication to sports development is evident as he oversees a total of eight (8) teams, consisting of both senior and junior men’s and women’s teams.
Despite facing challenges, Osman’s determination remains unshaken. His men’s senior team, Ntopwa United FC, affectionately known as the “Amagheto Kids,” were relegated from the Malawi TNM Superleague two seasons ago.
However, this setback did not dampen his enthusiasm for the sport.
His women’s football team, on the other hand, achieved a remarkable victory by clinching the inaugural Malawi Women’s Football Championship in 2022.
This victory came after a hard-fought match against the well-resourced Ascent Academic at Mpira Stadium.
The triumph with the women’s team ignited a new spark in Osman. Despite facing resource limitations, he harbors a newfound interest in participating in the women’s continental competition.
Although initially just a dream, Osman’s aspirations are gradually transforming into reality.
Recently, Africa bore witness to the draw for the regional competition, where the victor will earn a coveted slot in the upcoming continental showdown scheduled to take place in Ivory Coast from November 5th to 19th.
Comparisons can be drawn between Osman and the late David Dube, who, despite limited resources, played a pivotal role in promoting women’s football within the country.
The success of the Amagheto Kids hinges on the support of fellow Malawians, as they strive to elevate women’s football to new heights in the nation.
In the COSAFA Champions League Qualifiers, Ntopwa Super Queens Football Club has been drawn in group A, pitted against reigning champions Green Buffaloes of Zambia, Double Action Ladies of Botswana, and Lesotho Defence Force of Lesotho.
Meanwhile, group B features South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns alongside Olympic De Moroni of Comoros Island, Costa Do Sol of Mozambique, and Young Buffaloes of e-Swatini.
Sharing his thoughts on the draw, Isaac Jomo Osman expressed satisfaction with the fairness of the matchups.
He stated, “We were already aware that we would face formidable opponents in the qualifiers. Our preparations are on track, and my team is putting in tremendous effort, motivates by the desire to compete at the highest level.
“For some of the players, this marks their debut on such a stage. We remain optimistic about qualifying and securing a spot in the Ivory Coast finals.”
Osman extended a plea for support from well-wishers, emphasizing the importance of collective backing.
“While some have generously contributed, we still require additional support. Initially, our budget was set at K40 million, but due to unforeseen factors, we have adjusted it to MK56 million, ensuring that we are adequately prepared,” Osman explained.
It’s worth noting that Mamelodi Sundowns emerged as the inaugural victors of the regional competition, triumphing over Black Rhinos Queens in the final.
Their success continued on the continental stage, as they claimed the coveted title of the maiden CAF Women’s Champions League held in Egypt.
The subsequent year saw the Green Buffaloes of Zambia secure victory in 2022, prevailing over Sundowns in a thrilling match that concluded with post-match penalties.
The teams will face off in a round-robin format with the top two sides in each group advancing to the semifinals.
The winner of group A will face the runner-up in group B and vice-versa.
The 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League|COSAFA qualifiers will be staged in Durban, South Africa from August 30-8th September.