Clifford Mulenga: My Life, My Story – Part 1

Before I moved to Bidvest Wits in 2008, at that time Roger de Sa was their coach. I met with Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau from Mamelodi Sundowns and they offered me a contract which I actually signed.

But unfortunately, my agent at the time had already got a contract with Bidvest Wits that he had negotiated. He refused the contract that Sundowns gave me and decided to take me to Wits.

When I look back, I think I should have pushed for a move to Sundowns not because of money or where they are today. At that time Sundowns were not really a dominant team in South African football but they were one of the better teams.

I wanted to go to Sundowns because of the players they had and the way the team was run which was different to Wits.

I should have gone to Sundowns instead of Wits, that is one of the biggest regrets I have in my career because my South African career did not take off at Wits.

I’m now back home in Zambia playing for Forest Rangers. Last season I finished as a top goal scorer and the best player for the team. But before coming back to Zambia I stayed two years without kicking the ball. After the issue I had with Jomo Cosmos was resolved, I got my money and came back to Zambia and joined Forest Rangers in 2020.

Playing again after two years was not easy at all because, to be honest, I had lost a little bit of my passion to keep playing. I had gained a lot of weight and a lot of the boys at Forest Rangers thought I was here to become a coach.

It was difficult because the training in Zambia and South Africa are totally different. Here we train a lot and most training pitches in Zambia are terrible. They are not in good conditions and the weather is hot throughout the year. We have double training sessions during the week – one in the morning and afternoon.

Medical wise, a lot physiotherapists are not trained sport physiotherapist. When you are in pain and explain to them the situation they don’t treat it the way it should be treated.

Even physical trainers of the teams, most of them, are retired footballers but they don’t have that education and acumen of how to be a physical trainer of a top team.

So, it’s very difficult to adapt, it took me time. It’s also not easy because of age but it’s Ok. I’m doing what I can. So far my team is doing well and my team is doing and I’m happy with that.

Part Two coming later.

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