By Duncan Mlanjira
Eleven of the players that have made into coach Peter Mponda’s squad for the 2019 Under-20 COSAFA tournament graduate from the Under-17 squad of three seasons ago.
They are Innocent Shema (Silver Youth), Josephy Balakasi (Ntopwa FC), Hadji Wali (Silver Strikers), Francis Mtoso (Ascent Academy), (Kesteni Simbi (Izoizo FC), Auspicious Kadzongola,Franklin Titani, Patrick Mwaungulu (Nyasa Big Bullets), David Daudi (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve), Lovermore Mbeta (Ascent Academy and Chinsinsi Maonga of Siliver Strikers Youth.
Mponda has gone for continuity as his 34-man provisional squad retains more than half of last year’s squad.
He has called 16 players who were part of the Under-20 squad that participated in the CAF Under-20 qualifiers and the COSAFA Youth Championship in 2018.
Announcing the squad on behalf of Mponda during a press conference this week, team manager Aubrey Nankhuni said the technical panel decided to go for continuity as part of FAM’s long-term player development process.
“We already have a pool of players who have been part of the system in the past two years and still qualify to take part in this competition.
“So, it was important to bring them back as we continue to build them for the future.
“But we have also brought in nine new players who have never been part of the setup but are good players who must try their luck,” said Nankhuni.
The team has gone into residential camp at the Mpira Village and the full squad is:
GOALKEEPERS; Elliasi Missi (Nyasa Big Bullets), Anthony Singini (Karonga United), Hastings Banda (Civil Sporting)
DEFENDERS; Innocent Shema Silver Youth, Blessings Mpokera (Nyasa Big Bullets Youth), Josephy Balakasi (Ntopwa FC), Hadji Wali (Silver Strikers), Maxwell Paipi (Silver Youth), Henry Chiwaya (Wizard), Alick Rabson (Hangover FC), Francis Mtoso (Ascent Academy), Kesten Simbi (Izoizo FC), Harvey Nasiyaya (Gumbala FC)
MIDFIELDERS; Auspicious Kadzongola (Nyasa Big Bullets), Franklin Titani (Nyasa Big Bullets), Patrick Mwaungulu (Nyasa Big Bullets), Aziz Mwakifuna (Nyasa Big Bullets), Francisco Madinga (Beforward Wanderers), David Mereka (Wizard FC), Frank Chizuze (Silver Strikers Youth), David Daudi (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve), Lovemore Mbeta (Ascent Academy)
STRIKERS; Wisdom Mpinganjira (Hangover FC), Kingsley Kuwali (Blue Eagles), Chinsinsi Maonga (Silver Strikers Youth), Clement Nyondo (Karonga United), Patrick Rudi (Blue Eagles), Charles Nkhoma (Moyale Barracks), Walisungu Mdoka (Moyale Barracks), Christopher Mtambo (Chitipa United), Stanley Billiat (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve), Lanjesi Nkhoma (Nyasa Big Bullets), Aubrey Maloya (Be Forward Wanderers Reserve)