By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi national football team Coach, Ronny van Geneugden (RVG), has said he is not bothered by the issue of the expiry of his two-year contract on March 31 2019, as his main mandate is to groom Flames mentors.
Commenting on his first coaching job in Africa, the Belgian, who is with Malawi under-23 national football team in Egypt for a friendly, said it was a mixed bag.
“You have to go back to the time I started my work as Malawi coach because Fifa asked me, as a coach, together with [Football Association of Malawi] President Walter Nyamilandu to groom coaches to be the national teams’ coach and make a very strong plan, strategy and philosophy for the future of Malawi football,” RVG said.
“In my report, I will write that we have made a very strong development plan for Malawi football. As my contract is coming to an end, I do not talk about renewing it or not. That is nothing to do with me and it is a final step in my two-year contract for developing a team, grooming team coaches like a technical panel which is also here in this camping and then we will say ‘this is what we achieved on the pitch in two years’. We can all say the future belongs to Malawi football if everybody follows the right direction.”
The Belgian is in Egypt with Malawi under-23 which is preparing for the match against Zambia slated for March 20 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, before a return leg four days later in Lusaka.
RVG’s contract expires a week after the Flames’ Afcon academic qualifying match against Morocco.
Since he took over the Flames job, RVG has been inviting several coaches to train the team.
RVG has maintained his right-hand man Peter Mponda as an assistant coach after Gerald Phiri Senior and Derklerk Msakakuona were released following the expiry of their contracts.
RVG also said the local pitches are not conducive for playing football.
“We have to be honest that the pitches are not of good quality in Malawi, which is a condition not good to develop football in Malawi. It is a very big issue in Malawi and we must work together with the government,” he said.
The Flames have won twice, lost eight times and drawn 10 matches with the Belgian in charge.
National Coaches Association General Secretary, Davie Mpima, said RVG has not groomed many local coaches.
“Our agreement in bringing the expatriate coach was that all the local coaches should benefit and not only a few selected individuals,” he said.
Fam Vice President, James Mwenda, who also heads the association’s youth and technical sub-committee, said RVG’s contract would be reviewed according to his mandate.
“We will review his two-year term based on terms of reference; so, it would be unethical of me to talk more about the issue,” he said
The Flames anchor Group B of the Afcon qualifiers with just four points from five games. Morocco and Cameroon qualified to the Afcon finals with 10 and eight points, respectively. Comoros Islands are third with five points.
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