Frank Mhango - Fact File

Celtic’s “Gabadinho” Working Hard To Achieve Greatness

Bloemfontein Celtic's Malawian-born striker Frank Mhango, has been scoring regular goals for the team since he joined them at the start of last season. The pin-sized striker has proved beyond all odds that hard work pays off. Gabadinho as he is affectionately known as, talks about why he joined Celtic after training with a number of clubs, then returned to Malawi only for Celtic to call him back and sign him.

Personal Information
Full names: Frank Mhango
Date of birth: 27 September 1992
Place of birth: Chiweta, Malawi

Nickname: Gabadinho
Position: striker
Jersey no: 42
Club: Bloemfontein Celtic

Previous clubs: Big Bullets (Malawi)

Honours: 2013 Super League of Malawi Top goalscorer, 2013 Malawi Player of the year, 21 Malawi national caps

Gabadinho, it seems you are enjoying your life at Celtic? 
Yes, I am enjoying my life and my stay, I am happy, I am working hard as it is pre-season training. I came here to work and that`s what I am doing.
What is the secret to your good performance at Celtic last season? 
It is just in my blood. I like to perform well by working hard. That helps me to perform well in every game I play.
Before joining Siwelele you trained with AmaZulu, Free State Stars and Celtic, and then went back to Malawi. How did the move back to Celtic finally happen? 
When I first came to South Africa I was at AmaZulu, but one day when Celtic were in Durban they asked me to train with them. After training with them we had a friendly game against Usuthu. I scored in that game and Celtic decided to take me to Bloemfontein, but after a week with Celtic they told me to go to Free State Stars. I was not happy at Stars and I decided to go back to Malawi. After I went back to Malawi, we played a friendly game against Rwanda. Celtic then contacted me to come back to the team.
Why do you think AmaZulu and FSS couldn’t see the same goalscoring potential that resulted in Celtic signing you? 
It is hard to say because Usuthu said they were signing me, but before they could do that Celtic invited me over. As for Stars, I was the one who didn`t like the place or the team. They were happy with me, but I wasn’t happy there. I didn’t like it.
You mentioned that you were not happy at Stars. What really happened there? 
Nothing bad happened. It is just the whole situation there that I was not happy with. I did very well and they wanted to sign me, but I told the people who were helping me that I was not happy there and I went back to Malawi.
Did you lose hope when you went back to Malawi? 
I didn`t lose hope. I continued working hard as if nothing had happened. I knew what I was capable of doing so I kept on working hard, hoping that my chance would come. 
Who helped you to sign for Celtic? 
I don’t really know what happened and who recommended me, but Celtic was consulting with Patrick Mabedi and also the team Manager John Maduka. Limbikani Mzava was also involved. They used to ask him how I was doing for the national team and he would tell them how I was doing. That helped me sign for them.
What did the coach Ernst Midderndorp say to you when he joined the team? 
What he said after watching the Mcufe Cup against Kaizer Chiefs was that he was satisfied with what he saw. He said I had good skill, ball control, shooting, speed and scoring ability. He said I should just follow his instructions and I would make it.
Do you prefer playing as a lone striker? 
I like to play as a second striker. Defenders tend to forget you because you move all over the field so I can defend and attack at the same time and in that position you can score important goals as well.
You were top goalscorer in Malawi. Do you think you can do it here in the PSL? 
Yes, I can do that and that`s what I want right now. I don`t play as an individual, but as long as I find the chances, I will make sure I score. So yes, I think I can become the top goalscorer in the PSL.
What do you think is the main difference between Malawian football and South African football? Here football is business and the standard of football is high. In Malawi we just play because we love football. Here tempers are high in games because it means a lot. The competition here is very high. It is real football here.
What about the standard? 
The players here are so skillful but not hard workers. In Malawi players are both skillful and work very hard.
Thank you so much for your time. 
Thank you.