By Duncan Mlanjira
Peter Mponda, who was deputy of former Malawi national football team coach, Belgian Ronny Van de Geneughden (RVG), has been named as interim head coach to lead the Under-20 at the 2019 COSAFA Youth Championship to be held in Lusaka, Zambia between December 4-14.
A statement from Football Association of Malawi says the former Flames captain will be assisted by Audrey Makonyola and Christopher Nyambose.
Sibusiso Padambo has been retained as goalkeeper trainer while Aubrey Nankhuni and Victor Jobo are team manager and team doctor respectively.
FAM General Secretary Alfred Gunda is quoted as saying all members have since accepted the offers.
“FAM in consultation with the Coaches Association of Malawi arrived at the decision to engage the panel for the COSAFA assignments.
“They were handed the offers last week and got down to work already drawing programmes for the camp and identifying players upon their acceptance of the offers.
Gunda is further quoted as saying FAM and government are currently finalising the process of advertising for full time Under-20 and Under-17 coaches to be supported by the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture.
“The advert will be floated in the media soon. Government gave us a green light to employ full time coaches for U20 and U17 and the formal process will start shortly.
“But for the COSAFA, which is urgent, we will go with an interim panel,” he said.
Reacting to the appointment Mponda, who was RVG’s assistant coach for two years said he is ready for the challenge.
“It is always an honour to serve the country and I am ready to lead the boys.
“I have been to the COSAFA Under 20 as assistant coach twice so I know what it takes. We will talk more about our plans when we name the squad over the weekend,” he is quoted as saying.
The Under-20 squad is expected to start preparations on Monday, November 11 at the Mpira Village in Blantyre and the squad will be announced by the end of this week.
RVG and Mponda’s record at the COSAFA with the senior Flames wasn’t satisfactory in the two years thy participated in which they bowed out in group stages without scoring a goal like losing 0-2 to Tanzania, drawing 0-0 with Angola and 0-0 against Mauritius.
For the 2018 edition, Malawi managed just one goal, in the 1-1 draw against Botswana and lost 0-1 to Mauritius and drew 0-0 with Angola.
With current coach Meke Mwase, it was a bitter-sweet performance in which they played so well but still went out — first in the semifinal of the main section and the final of the plate.
Malawi first beat Seychelles 3-0, Namibia 2-1 and drew 1-1 with Mozambique to reach the semis to date Zambia. They led 2-0 against Zambians but finished 2-2 only to lose 2-4 in post-match penalties.
In the semifinal of the Plate section, they beat Comoros 2-1 to date hosts South Africa, whom they drew 0-0 after extra time only to lose 4-5 in post match penalties.