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Blue Eagles tie down Eliya Kananji

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Blue Eagles Coach Eliya Kananji has signed a new two-year contract to stay in charge of the club until 2024.

Kananji joined Eagles on a year-long deal last year but has been rewarded with a new deal after guiding the Malawi Police Service outfit to position two in the TNM Super League this year.

In an interview Tuesday, Kananji said he has set his eyes on winning the Super League title next season.

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“Although we failed to win any silverware, there were a lot of positives. We will come back stronger next season and we want to win the league title,” Kananji said.

He said beefing up the squad with four players was his priority.

“It will be good if we get a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and a new striker. For us to fight for the league title, we need to have depth in our team,”’ Kananji said.

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In his debut season, Eagles finished as runners-up to eventual winners Nyasa Big Bullets in the TNM Super League with 63 points.

Eagles Vice General Secretary Gomezgani Solomon Mchawi said Kananji deserved a new contract.

“We did not hesitate to give him a new deal after he achieved a lot. He made history at Eagles for finishing as runners-up in the league. We do not want to give him unrealistic targets but we know his target is to win the league title,’’ Mchawi said.

Kananji replaced Gerald Phiri Snr before the start of the 2022 season.

The Eagles also reached the semifinals of both the Airtel Top 8 Cup and the FDH Bank Cup but lost 2-0 to Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and 2-1 to Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve, respectively.

Sports analyst Sherry Msuku said Kananji performed beyond expectations.

“Nobody gave him a chance to do well at Eagles. The team performed well and other teams should be worried next season,’’ he said.

Kananji is one of highly respected coaches in domestic football, having won the Carlsberg Cup with both Wanderers and Bullets.

He also guided defunct Blantyre United to position three in the TNM Super League in 2012-13.

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