Building a team is a risk worthy taking and that is what Germany has demonstrated in the just ended FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia which they claimed by winning against an experienced Chilean side.
Unlike other countries, Joachim Low opted to travel to the tourney with the almost-perfect machine with an average squad of 24 years old and without star players.
During the tournament, the Germans demonstrated teamwork when they outsmarted opponents, the latest being a 4-1 victory over Mexico in the semifinals of the competition before beating Chile in the final.
One of the biggest talking points during the tournament was the fact that this young German team was often identified as a ‘ B team’ or a reserve unit.
One must be careful with this assumption because Germany’s system and the way they implement innovation and education with young players is so high that if anything, the country knows how to create quality players.
For years now, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has failed to do what is right for the national team to be very successful.
For example, when other associations are taking team B’s to Cosafa Castle Cup tournament, we do the opposite by using recycled players instead of giving young stars a chance to demonstrate at an international level.
Gone are the days when the said competition was attracting star players and other nations are now using the tournament to identify and nature new talent.
Apart from using recycled players at a tournament which is not even on a FIFA calendar, our association did not put structures in place to succeed the team that went to 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.
Building the said team took more than ten years hence performing well to the extent of making it to Angola but surprisingly, ever since that team ceased to exist, the FA did not dwell much on investing into the youth development thereby making it very difficult to produce another crop of players worthy competing at the international level.
We had a very good Under 17 and Under 20 side in 2008 but there was no continuity as the majority of the players were nowhere to be seen despite competing at FIFA Under 20 World Cup with the likes of Neymar, Isco, Thiago
Alcantara and many more stars who are now flourishing with their national teams.
The FA should also try to create a very good relationship with Malawi Government.
Without political will, FAM should expect nothing good apart from being blamed when the national team fail to perform.
If there will be a good relationship with Government, the association will be able to convince those in authority to develop football from the grassroots level by using primary schools.
Football development should start on our primary schools knowing that Government will fully support the project.
The country’s soccer governing body should also enforce local clubs to invest a lot in reserve sides.
Players are produced from reserve sides and if we are to move from the current shamble, our clubs must have strong reserve sides so that they are able to identify and produce talent for the national team.
Failure to do this will continue turning this country into a laughing stock as far as international competitions are concerned.
Germany has set a precedent, it’s up to us to emulate their strategy.
Germany will always produce quality, but what takes it to another level is how their 13 year project (under Low) is av result of precise delivery-in training, game-day, off-days.
Time has come for Government, FA and the corporate world to come together to turn things around if we are to smile again.