By Erik Chiputula:
National Football team coach Meke Mwase has announced his squad for the Flames’ African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda.
According to a statement released by Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Mwase has named 29 players for the preparations of AFCON qualifiers away game againts South Sudan on 24th March, 2021 as well as a home match against Uganda five days later.
In his call-up, the Flames mentor has included five new faces to tussle with the regulars for the final squad.
The five new faces includes MAFCO FC goalkeeper Jailos Kapalamula, midfielders Vitumbiko Kumwenda from Be Forward Wanderers, Ekwendeni’s Patrick Banda, Mphatso Magaleta from Mtopwa FC and Maxwel Gasten from Silver Strikers.
The coach has also recalled current TNM Super League Top Goal Scorer Royal Bokosi as well as forgotten Civo Service United striker Raphael Phiri.
Commenting on the squad, soccer analyst Danken Lengani expressed his discomfort with the decision of adding new faces in the squad.
He said despite that the five new players have been performing well in the TNM Super League, their inclusion is untimely and unnecessary at the moment when the competition has reached a boiling point.
“It’s unnecessary to include new players at this stage when the competition is too hot. The new ones will need enough time to understand the philosophy of the coach, for players to coordinate its a proccess and it needs enough time.
“All the five players have been superb in the league but lets emulate from other countries, they dont call into camp new players for the crucial games like these ones, everywhere new players starts with friendlies before they are handed a chance to play competitive games,” he said adding that it is most unlikely for the Flames to have a friendly match with the Covid-19 pandemic safety measures.