Mumba's Return Delights Schumacher
On Friday, Bali Mumba became a Pilgrim once again. On Saturday, he was on the teamsheet and the scoresheet as Argyle beat Forest Green Rovers 5-1 in their latest pre-season friendly.
After an eye-catching loan spell in 2022/23, Mumba returned to Home Park this week, on a permanent basis, to the delight of all who hold Argyle dear in their heart.
Playing on the left side of a front three, Mumba scored Argyle’s third goal of the afternoon, following two from Ryan Hardie. In the second half, Callum Wright and Morgan Whittaker, another returnee from a brilliant loan spell last term, rounded off the scoring.
Having broken a club record to sign Whittaker, Argyle equalled it with the acquisition of Mumba, and Schumacher was clearly delighted, speaking in the aftermath of the Forest Green game, to have Bali back on board.
“I’m made up to bring him back,” said Schumacher. “It was a deal that, again, I thank Simon [Hallett, chairman] for sanctioning and Andrew [Parkinson, CEO] for getting it over the line with Norwich. It wasn't an easy deal to try to negotiate, but we did it.
“We're just delighted to have him back. Everyone knows how good a player he is, and he's a brilliant character as well.
“All the players were made up to see him when he came back in. None of them were aware of anything that was going on. He surprised a few people. It's been a good bit of business and a very good week.
“He was brilliant [against Forest Green. He showed] exactly what he brought to us last season: loads of positivity, hard again to play against. He’s going to be a really good threat for us over on that left-hand side.
“It shows as well that we're doing good work with these young players, to get top quality players to the to the club. We put them into our environment and make them feel comfortable where they can go and express themselves. As a coach, it is one of the most pleasing things.
“For them to want to come back is brilliant. It's not just the coaching side. They had a really good relationship, both of them, with the fans. They enjoyed their time here. They got on really well with all of the teammates last season and they were both massive parts of why we won the league.
“It was a no-brainer. Once we knew it was an option to try and bring them back, we had to speak to both players. We showed them how we're going to do things this season and where we see them playing, and they've seen their futures here, so we're delighted.”