Azam Tigers have reportedly hired Charles Manda as the team’s head coach, replacing Patrick Kulemeka who excused himself from the post.
Tigers Technical Director, Robin Alufandika, confirmed over the weekend the return of Manda, who a few years ago, had a stint with the Kau Kau.
“Yes, I can confirm that our next coach is Mr Charles Manda. Mr Kulemeka is no longer with us as he is busy with studies.
“Details about the contract are not for public consumption but just know that we have reached an agreement with him. He will be with the boys on February 5 when we begin our pre-season training,” Alufandika said.
Manda, who also coached Civil Sporting Club, Malanti Chiefs and Mbabane Swallows (in Swaziland), was, yesterday, not readily available to confirm his appointment.
Meanwhile, Tigers Chairperson, Sydney Chikoti, has said the team is intact and ready to start preparations for the 2018 TNM Super League season.
Chikoti was reacting to fears from some football analysts and supporters after the team’s sale of its key players to Be Forward Wanderers.
Tigers sold first-choice goalkeeper William Thole, midfielder Dan Kumwenda and defender Peter Cholopi to the Super League champions last week.
Chikoti on Saturday said their Executive Committee was waiting for recommendations from the technical panel.
“As usual, we will find possible replacements for the boys. New players would be given time to train with us before the actual training, with the current players, starts.
“Meanwhile, we have many options where we can get players, including some from the relegated teams. However, our panel would guide us on how to proceed with the matter,” Chikoti said.
Alufandika said there was no need to worry over the future of Tigers as they have strategies to strengthen the team ahead of next season.
“Those who know us well would agree that we are a team that believes in scouting talent and grooming young ones who are, in turn, spotted by big teams,” he said.
Alufandika said their failure to do well in the 2017 season was not because they were a bad side but due to poor officiation.
“The referees in Lilongwe should be happy that they frustrated us, and we are no longer in the top-eight band of teams [on the log table]. But I can assure them that we would do well this season, and who knows, we may even grab the championship,” he said.
Mid-way the 2017 season, Alufandika blamed referees for frustrating them and threatened that Tigers might close shop.
Tigers receive a starter pack of sponsorship from Bakhresa Grain and Milling, but the money is not enough to see the team through a season.
Tigers finished on 11th position on the league’s log table after amassing 32 points.
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