Well, what a night that was, our superb victory on penalties against Havnar Bóltfelag will now see the Robins taking on FC Spartak Trnava in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Europa Conference League.
Before last night’s game, the club announced the departure of our forward, Lifumpa Mwandwe who’s brilliant performances (including last night) for the Robins have caught the eye of the Canadian Premier League side, Halifax Wanderers. Fumpa will soon be travelling over to Halifax, which is the capital and largest municipality in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, to meet up with his new teammates. Earlier this week we decided to catch up with Fumpa to have a chat about his time at Latham Park. As you will read, Fumpa spoke very positively about his time with us. For the first question, we went back to the start and asked how is move to Newtown materialised and where his career was at, at that time:
“During the 2019/2020 season, I was at Shrewsbury Town and was sent out on loan to Newtown which was an enjoyable spell. Unfortunately, the Covid Pandemic hit and shortly afterwards I was released by Shrewsbury. For a while afterwards, I was inactive and to be honest had lost my love for the game and wasn’t playing at all. Callum McKenzie (Newtown Assistant Manager) had previously coached me whilst I was at Shrewsbury and after having some conversations with me, I eventually signed for Newtown on a permanent basis in the January of the 2020/2021 season”
It is brilliant to hear that Fumpa rediscovered his love for the beautiful game at the Robins, with that in mind we asked him who have been his biggest influences during his time with us:
“Everybody has been brilliant during my time at the club, from the gaffer (Chris Hughes) and Callum to all of the players I have played alongside, they have all had a major influence on me both on and off the pitch”
As many people will know, we pride ourselves on being a very supportive club and want the very best for all our players, with regards to this, we asked Fumpa how he felt the club had supported his development:
“Newtown AFC have been brilliant with me, I arrived at the club as a boy, and I am now leaving as a man. I now feel very confident in myself which of course helps my game, and I must thank everybody at the club for helping me achieve this”
Fumpa continued – “Newtown AFC provide a good platform for young players who are wanting to try and get back into the professional game. The current squad as a lot of ex pro’s who are always willing to advise the younger players, I have learnt a lot from them”
In what is a busy time for Fumpa, the final question we asked him was, if he had to pick just one from many highlights from his time with us then what would that be – he replied with a lot of pride in his voice:
“This must be the 2020/2021 Play-Off Final win against Caernarfon which we won 5-3 to secure European football for the following season. It was a thrilling game to be in involved in, it was a great day for the club and on a personal level, I scored once and assisted two of our other goals – it was just an amazing day”
We think that it is fair to say that Fumpa can now add his magical performance last night against Havnar Bóltfelag to his list of highlights during his time with us. Not a bad way to sign off by scoring a goal and converting the winning penalty in a European tie!
We want to thank Fumpa for taking the time to speak to us, we have enjoyed watching him play for our club and would like to take this opportunity to wish him all the very best of luck for his move to Halifax Wanderers.
Interview conducted by Gareth Thomas