Flames team manager James Sangala says the boys are in high spirits and are bubbling with confidence, ahead of Wednesday’s friendly match against Uganda.
The match will be played at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala, a first international outing for Malawi in 2018. Kickoff time is 3pm Malawi time.
Speaking after the team’s final training session on Monday afternoon, Sangala told Malawi24 of the buoyant mood in camp.
“The boys are in high spirits and eager to give out their best. They know the importance of this game which among them is to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers coming up in September. On the technical side, it’s also a chance for us to have the team gel and enhance team building as we have the foreign based stars available,” said Sangala
Sangala then added that the boys have acclimatised well to the weather hence it will not be a problem on Wednesday.
“It’s the start of the rainy season so the weather condition is good here, neither hot nor cold but just suitable for a game of football,” he said.
The Cranes and the Flames have had 27 meetings in all competitions, with Malawi winning 8, losing 14 and drawing 5.
Their first meeting was a friendly in May 1971 ending in a 3-3 draw, while the last time they faced off was in November 2015, a CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup quarterfinal which Uganda won 2-0.
Ron Van Geneugden (RVG) has 21 players ready for duty, 8 of whom are foreign based.
Alfred Manyozo Jnr, Precious Sambani, Felix Zulu and Patrick Phiri are the only uncapped players in the team.
A number of players in the current squad are no strangers to the Cranes’ challenge namely captain Limbikani Mzava, Chiukepo Msowoya, Frank Banda, John Lanjesi, Robin Ngalande, Dalitso Sailesi, Yamikani Fodya, Stanley Sanudi, John Banda and Chawanangwa Kaonga.
Msowoya has battled Uganda four times while Lanjesi and John Banda have made three appearances each.
Fodya, Frank Banda and Sanudi have had two meetings with the Cranes while Ngalande, Sailesi and Kaonga have a single match under their belt.
Ron Van Geneugden and his charges are ranked 123rd by FIFA while Uganda are on position 78.
This is one of many international friendlies across the world to be played inside a FIFA sanctioned week.