By Angu Lesley
Che Malone Junior’s arrival from Union Sportive of Douala last summer marked a before-and-after point in terms of Cotonsport’s bid to seal their position Cameroon’s finest but unfortunately for the manager that okay his signing -Souleymanou Aboubakar , he didn’t trust him with game time early enough.
Coton had struggled to replace Banga Solomon and Ngombe Etame, who had departed before the start of the season, as Coton fell away in the MTN Elite One championship and in the CAF Confederation cup because of their defensive fragility.
First condemned to a perpetual substitute under coach Souleymanou and sometimes restricted to train with the reserves few saw the quick transformation of Che Malone and his becoming the rock on which the new success story will be made.
Sunday’s resolute display against YAFOOT FC was the latest in a long line of excellent performances to the name of the former Continental FA defender.
In the Gabriel Hamann era with Malone as first choice center back, Coton have conceded just one goal in their six matches. In fact, they’ve conceded just one goal in 557 minutes of football keeping five consecutive clean sheets – a record in the league this season.
Che, who has forged a strong partnership with reliable Goni Ali at centre-back has been at the heart of this newfound defensive strength.
If Hamann’s side go on to lift what would be Coton’s 17th title in Garoua in July, they’ll have a lot to thank the 22-year-old for.
The collective statistics are the best measure of Che’s impact. They cannot measure how reassuring a presence a defender is or how authoritative he is.
The reality, too, is that those who play for teams such as Coton have less defending to do than some of their peers and whenever there is a defensive job to do Che does it well reason why Coton is on a record run of five games without conceding this season.
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