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Blue Eagles ‘fire’ coach

Gerald Phiri Snr saved team from relegation

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Alexander Ngwala

Blue Eagles have fired coach Gerald Phiri Senior despite rescuing them from TNM Super League relegation.

The Malawi Police Service side survived relegation in its last match of the season after beating Mighty Wanderers 3-1 at Kamuzu Stadium.

However, that was not enough to convince Eagles management to extend Phiri’s contract beyond December.

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Eagles Chairperson Alexander Ngwala said the executive committee met and agreed not to renew his contract.

“We met and decided against retaining Mr Phiri’s services. Our position is that the team performed below our expectations. We do not want this to happen again. We have made this decision now to give him enough time to look for opportunities elsewhere,” Ngwala said.

He said the club would soon start the process of hiring a new coach in preparation for the 2022 season.

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Reports suggest that the cops’ former technical director Christopher Sibale is favoured to take over the mantle.

Phiri Senior said he was yet to get official communication from Eagles.

“I have a contract with Eagles until December 2021 but I will accept anything that comes my way,” he said.

The former Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers coach replaced DeKlerk Msakakuona before the start of the season and was given the target of winning the TNM Super League.

Eagles have won several national cups but the Super League title has always eluded them.

Msakakuona left Area 30 to take up a Football Association of Malawi appointment as Malawi National Under-17 Football Team Coach after 11 years with Eagles.

He remained a respected figure at the club after guiding his charges to victory in the defunct Standard Bank Cup, Carlsberg Cup, Fisd Cup and the Airtel Top 8 Cup.

Eagles’ highest league position was third in the 2014, 2015 and 2019 seasons.

Phiri’s track record includes managing Malawi national football teams at all levels.

Eagles survived relegation on goal difference after tying with Mighty Tigers and relegated Chitipa United on 32 points.

In the entire 2021 season, Eagles registered seven wins, 11 draws and 12 losses in 30 matches.

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