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Exclusive: PWD Bamenda prodigy Nchindo on the hunt for successive Champions League stint

• The promising starlet recounts his maiden experience with the reigning Cameroon League one champions against the Amakhosi in the preliminary of the CAF Champions League. He looks forward to making a quick return to the premium African Inter-club competition next season after a flawed debut. 

By Beng Emmanuel 

Cameroon rising star Nchindo John Bosco has opened up on his maiden CAF champions League appearance with PWD of Bamenda and believes “it was a whole new adventure” to his acclaimed professional career. 

Nchindo, 19 was part of the squad that helped the Abakwa boys secure their maiden League one title in May 2020, and eventually a CAF champions League spot, after the Cameroon regulatory football body FECAFOOT resolved to put an abrupt end to the league due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Abakwa boys won their historic maiden Cameroon League 1 title for the first time in 58 years of existence, becoming only the second club from English speaking Cameroon after Tiko United in 2009 to emerge champions of the country’s top tier football league. 

PWD BAMENDA

Without the presence of the championship, the reigning league one champions resorted to various friendlies to enable them have a befitting build-up to the clash against South Africa’s outfit Kaizer Chiefs in the first round preliminary of the CAF Champions League. 

They played fourteen (14) preseason friendlies with seven wins, four draws and three defeats. Also, they scored about 27 goals and conceded fourteen times. Players were favoured to play international friendlies in Malabo against Futuro Kings and Al Ahli Tripoli in Libya.  With both teams aiming for unprecedented success in continental football, it became obvious the clash will be a true test of PWD’s dominance considering the pedigree of the Amakhosi. 

Despite their unrivalled determination, PWD of Bamenda’s close to two decades wait for continental success crumbled after losing to Kaizer Chiefs 0-1 on aggregate. The Abakwa boys narrowly lost to Kaizer Chiefs at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium during the first leg but the defeat was made more painful with Derrick Burinyuy’s last minute penalty miss. 

The physically imposing defender spurned a late chance to put both teams on equal terms with a glaring opening punched out by Bafana Bafana keeper Itumeleng Khune. That was the beginning of PWD’s downfall. They failed to overturn the deficit during the return leg in South Africa which ended goalless. 

Nchindo says the team faced some inconveniences. They played the game on the day they arrived South Africa.

Nchindo John Bosco who featured for the Cameroon League one side during the thrilling tie but was substituted, admitted that the game was a memorable experience. He believes his side could have done more to advance to the next round of the CAF Champions League. 

The midfielder who is devastatingly quick and able to tear defenses to sheds with his pace, skills and finishes saw his team crumble despite producing a good fight before their home crowds. He show cased great quality and confidence creating several openings and a handful of chances. But his moves were insufficient to guide his team to victory.

“It was a whole new adventure but most of all, the deal to make PWD Bamenda great and in turn have a name in the history books of football”-Nchindo told GinaInforms in an exclusive interview. 

“Yes, obviously we would have done more as a team but fate didn’t permit us. The second leg we played in South Africa was quite stressful, but we thrived to have a draw. Implying that if conditions were good and favourable we would have pulled a stunt as a team”, the teenage star added. 

PWD Bamenda vs Kaizer Chiefs CAF CL Preliminary, 1st leg Sunday, 29 November Limbe Omnisports stadium

The game against Kaizer Chiefs was PWD’s first continental game since taking part in an unsuccessful CAF Confederation Cup campaign in 2004. It was also the first continental football match played in Cameroon since early 2019. Besides being a remarkable feat for the Cameroon club, for the players it meant more for their brightest attacking prospect Nchindo John Bosco. 

“I was overwhelmed when I started the game, it was a lifetime experience… facing icons like [Itumeleng] Khune, [Khama] Billiat, [Lebogang] Manyama and highly rated Samir Nurkovic. It was like a dream come true, and all I had in mind was to show them Bamenda has something special to deliver to the world of football” Nchindo began recounting the memorable game. 

“I remember when our Captain Mbah Louis was subbed off and I was handed the captains arm band… at that moment I felt like I owed an extra duty to defend PWD Bamenda at all cost. I was substituted some minutes later, but as a team we were proud of the adventure”. 

“In general the competition elevated my level of experience… I have improved my composure with the ball. I acquired special qualities from the Kaizer Chiefs team and I improved my professionalism and mentality,” Nchindo went on. 

The quest for a historic double and second CAF champions League stint  

PWD of Bamenda had a challenging rise to the top of the Elite one championship. The team suffered from a huge setback when they were relegated to the inferior league in 2008. But with endless hard-work, high-yielding display from the players, resilience, and an exemplary management and staff they earned a deserving comeback to the top tier league for the first time after fourteen years.  

It didn’t seem easy thereafter. PWD Bamenda barely escaped from relegation on their return to the country’s first division league. But with Coach David Pagou’s arrival in September 2019, things improved greatly. 

In the space of a few weeks, the former Cosmos of Mbam gaffer, transformed the team from relegation battlers to title contenders. The team faded form and began displaying flashes of brilliance, culminating with their maiden league one trophy and a historic Champions league spell. 

With a test of national glory and continental football, the club thrives to remedy their debacle debut now. For that to happen they must win the championship this season at all cost. With a cast of talented players, Nchindo John Bosco is optimistic of the team’s chances to reap massive benefits in future.   

PWD Bamenda who were handed the league one trophy during the opening ceremony of the Cameroon championship on Saturday February 27, 2020 beat newly promoted YAFOOT to begin their title defence with victory. Nchindo wasn’t part of the game. The youngster was in Mauritania for the Under-20 African Cup of Nations where he greatly impressed. 

“As a team we go out this season again with the aim of returning to the continental games and it will be a dream come true that we make this dream once more a reality. To stay at the top is more difficult than getting to the top. And right now we are at the top and we go out every day with that mentality and spirit to win it all”. 

“Our first game against YAFOOT just showed that we can still do this and we will keep working towards it, because we have the best team, best coaching staff, best management and best of fans.

Nchindo John Bosco joined PWD in 2019. He scored five goals in 20 matches during the previous season. Considered as the hottest prospect for the Abakwa boys, the natural finisher and emblematic midfielder didn’t take long before he deservedly brooked into the first team and has become a regular starter. 

He scored his first professional hat-trick against the Central African Republic during the Under-20 Lions build-up in Morocco ahead of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations. He started in all the games at the continental youth tournament except the Lion’s last group A game against Mozambique. 

 Nchindo, was also drafted in Cameroon’s African Nations Championship preparatory squad where he starred on his debut against South Sudan in a friendly in Yaoundé. He also scored a brace against the same selection while on duty with his club. 

The teenage midfielder has been incredibly fantastic for both club and country. He won the Under-20 UNIFFAC tournament in Equatorial Guinea last year and played a trivial role for Cameroon to reach the quarter-finals of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations in Mauritania. 

It won’t be long before the teenage talent is tracked by Africa’s and Europe’s biggest clubs for a juicy contract, adding his name to a long list of illustrious players from Cameroon.

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