Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) have faulted top flight clubs for shunning the Under-20 national championship in Mangochi last weekend.
The country’s football governing body organised the event to identify players for the Malawi U-20 National Football Team, which is scheduled to take part in this year’s Cosafa Cup in December.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said top flight clubs missed a great opportunity to identify raw talent during the event.
“We need to bridge the gap; otherwise, Malawi football will not grow. Most of the top flight clubs’ coaches do not believe in giving a chance to young players. They are comfortable with sticking to tried and tested players who are getting tired and the coaches keep hoping that they will produce magic in the twilight of their careers.
“Performance of the teams is affected due to lack of creativity, energy and low productivity. This has spinoff effects as it trickles down to the Flames. The mentality of sidelining youngsters has to change. We have to progress because the future lies with the youth,” Nyamilandu said.
Sulom President Tiya Somba-Banda also registered his disappointment with the top teams’ absence.
“It is quite disappointing that we had no scouts from Super League teams at a tournament that had 80 players from all over the country. We encourage teams to scout for players each time such an opportunity arises.
“It is at tournaments like these where top talent is discovered. The Messis of this world were spotted from programmes like this one,” Somba-Banda said.
However, Nyasa Big Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga said his club was not invited.
“There are many football activities happening in the country and invitations are helpful when it comes to planning for such,” Chigoga said.
Mighty Tigers Coach Trevour Kajawa was the only top flight technical official who showed up at the tournament.
Kajawa, who showed up on the last day of the competition, said his attendance was fruitful as he had spotted four players he would recruit for next season.
“We do not have the money for buying players. We rely on scouting raw talent which we nurture for elite performance. So, expect to see some of these players in our team soon,” he said.
At the end of the two-day event, Central Region emerged champions after winning all their three matches to finish with nine points.
They beat Southern Region 4-2 before hammering Northern Region and Eastern Region 2-0 and 4-0, respectively.
Eastern Region came second with four points after beating Northern Region 2-1 and sharing spoils with Southern Region in a 3-3 stalemate.
North and South finished third and fourth with three points and a single point, respectively.