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All set for FMB finals

After a long and windy road, the FMB Under-20 Football League is expected to crown its champion at Mulanje Park Stadium Sarturday afternoon.

The national finals, which kicked off Friday, involve four teams drawn from 12 districts.

As we went to press yesterday, Mathambi from the Southern Region lost 5-3 on post-match penalties to Northern Region champions, Sanwecka, whereas defending champions, Silver Strikers Youth, met Griffin Young Stars in semi-finals. Sanwecka await the winner of the other semi-final.

The finals are expected to produce stars that can take Malawi football forward.

Attacker Peter Banda of Griffin and Hadji Wali of Silver Youth have earned rare reviews following their exploits with the under-17 and under-20 national teams.

Griffin Coach, Griffin Saenda junior, said they learnt bitter lessons from their previous two appearances in the finals.

“In the previous appearances in the final, we lacked experience of playing at that big stage and ended up conceding too early. But, now, we will go there and allow the players to play without any pressure,” said Saenda, uncle to Banda.

Either Banda or Yafet Mangani will lead Griffin’s attack with Innocent Bwenye manning the posts.

Silver Strikers Youth Deputy Coach, Dave Moya, on Thursday said they were ready to defend the championship.

“Being defending champions, it is normal that other teams will come hard on us but we have a plan for them. Most of the players that won us the championship last month are available,” Moya said.

Silver will bank on Captain Wali in defence with Ronald Pangani, his under-20 national team-mate, leading the front-line.

Reports from Mzuzu also suggest that Sanwecka are no pushover and are capable of pulling a surprise.

This year’s four finalists received a set of uniform ahead of the finals.

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