FAM technical director Marinica says Malawi lack proper player transition

Mwase and Marinica during the press briefing

By Victor Singano Jnr.

Newly-appointed Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Technical Director, Marian Mario Marinica, who is also head of Malawi national football team, says Flames previous poor performance is a result of lack of proper football transition structure of players in junior teams.


The Romanian made the remarks on Tuesday during a press conference held at Mpira Village in Chiwembe, Blantyre where — in collaboration with Flames coach Meck Mwase — was giving an update for the senior Flames’ preparations ahead of their preparations for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals set for Cameroon from January.

During the briefing Mwase released a 34-member provisional squad, which was expected to go into camp on Wednesday, December 8.

Marinica said Malawi is blessed with talented footballers but the national team has been struggling because there has been no good transition among the players.

He said it is high time that football managers ought to seriously consider such transition by selecting players from local competitions and take them into Malawi junior teams starting from Under-17, 20 and 23 and make sure they are properly monitored and graduate from these levels up to senior team.

“Football development is a major key in football because if you go for shortcuts it becomes difficult to produce good results,” Marinica said. “I know that people always expect positive results but this process needs ample time and I’m very confident that once we follow this process we’ll build a strong national team.”

Commenting on the latest Flames squad which has accommodated other young players from youth football teams, Marinica said he has decided to include them to cover those spaces whose players will not be available for the coming three days due to the Airtel Top 8 engagement as well as giving opportunity to the lads to start having a feel and learn other things from the senior team.

“We’ve planned to have three phases of this exercise and this is the first program. After three days, other players will be released and in phase two we’ll invite other faces who will also spend three days in camp.

“The final phase will produce the final local squad which will be combined by those players who are playing abroad. That squad will travel to Sudan where the Flames are expected to continue with preparations ahead of AFCON,” he said.

In his remarks, coach Mwase said: “As you are aware that most teams are not active as they have concluded their season’s assignments and their players, who are part of our AFCON plans, are idle.

“So we have organised this camp specifically for them to ensure they remain active. The young players are just here to fill the gap by those players not available and will be released once the others report for camp.”

The Flames provisional squad released by Mwase is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS—Clever Mkungula (Nyasa Big Bullets Youth); William Thole, Richard Chipuwa (Mighty Wanderers); Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets); Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers); Innocent Nyasulu (Rumphi United)

DEFENDERS—Nickson Nyasulu, Gomezgani Chirwa (Nyasa Big Bullets); Stainley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi (Mighty Wanderers); Paul Ndlobvu, Norchard Chimbalanga (MAFCO); Mark Fodya (Silver Strikers); Lawrence Chaziya (CIVO); Kelvin Kadzinje (Mzuzu Warriors); Emmanuel Nyirenda (Mighty Tigers); Andrew Lameck (Bangwe All Stars)

MIDFIELDERS—Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions); Chimwemwe Idana, Innocent Msowoya, Misheck Seleman, David Daud (Nyasa Big Bullets); Yamikani Chester (Mighty Wanderers); John Banda, Schumacker Kuwali (UD Songo); Tawonga Chimodzi (Silver Strikers); Lloyd Njaliwa (Moyale Barracks); Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles); Robert Saizi, Wisdom Mpinganjira (Mpima Academy)

STRIKERS—Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United); Chikondi Mbeta (Maggie Chombo Academy); Hassan Kajoke (Nyasa Big Bullets); Vincent Nyangulu (Wanderers).

The technical panel is expected to release the final squad for the AFCON by December 23.

The Flames are in group B alongside Senegal, Guinea and Zimbabwe and will begin their AFCON campaign against Guinea on January 10 before facing Zimbabwe on January 14 with their last group stage match against Senegal on January 18.

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