Malawi national team coach Meck Mwase has named a 34-member squad of local based players to start camp ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals scheduled for Cameroun in January next year.
Mwase has given maiden call-ups to 12 players and they include Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve goalkeeper Clever Mkungula, Rumphi United goalkeeper Innocent Nyasulu, defenders Norchard Chimbalanga (Mafco), Lawrence Chaziya (Civo), Kelvin Kazinje (Mzuzu Warriors), Emmanuel Nyirenda (Mighty Tigers) Andrew Lameck (Bangwe All Stars); midifidersDavid Daudi and Innocent Msowoya (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves), Robert Saizi (Mpima Academy; strikers Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United) and Chikondi Mbeta (Maggie Chombo Academy.
Mwase said: “As you are aware that most teams are not active as they have concluded their season’s assignments. So their players, who are part of our AFCON plans are iddle. 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,” said Mwase.
The first group of players is expected at Mpira Village on Tuesday evening and they will undergo physical fitness tests on Wednesday . Training will start on Thursday.
The team’s head of technical Mario Marinica said they have included youthful players in the squad to make sure that there is a proper transition of players from junior to senior teams.
“We want to have a proper transition of the players from the junior teams to the senior teams and this is why we have included some players from the U20 team so that they learn from the senior players as they train and at the same time familiarise themselves with the philosophy that we are introducing,” said Marinica.
The panel is expected to release the final squad for the AFCON by 23rd December.
Malawi are in group B alongside Senegal, Guinea and Zimbabwe. The Flames will begin their Afcon campaign with a game against Guinea on January 10th before facing Zimbabwe on January 14th. The team’s last group stage match will be against Senegal on January 18th.
Below is the squad
Goalkeepers: Clever Mkungula (Nyasa Big Bullets Youth),William Thole, Richard Chipuwa (Be Forward 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(Be Forward 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 (Nyasa Big Bullets),Yamikani Chester (Be Forward Wanderers), David Daud, Innocent Msowoya (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves), Misheck Seleman (Nyasa Big Bullets),John Banda (UD Songo), Schumacker Kuwali (UD Songo),Tawonga Chimodzi (Silver Strikers),Loyd Njaliwa (Moyale Barracks),Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles),Robert Saizi (Mpima Academy), Wisdom Mpinganjira ( Be Foward Wanderers)
Strikers: Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United), Chikondi Mbeta (Maggie Chombo Acadamy), Hassan Kajoke (Nyasa Big Bullets), Vincent Nyangulu (Be Forward Wanderers).