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Don’t look elsewhere, pleads Ernest Mtawali

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Malawi government has made it clear that it cannot afford to hire an expatriate coach for the Flames, but the national football team’s care-taker coach Ernest Mtawali has issued a ‘ just hire me plea.’

The former Flames international says local football technocrats should not look beyond the country, but rather within the nation to find the solution to cure the Flames problems, who tend to falter at crucial moments.

Mtawali led Flames to successful Independence Day celebration victory after his charges beat Uganda 1-0 in an international friendly on Monday at Kamuzu Stadium.

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Recalled Flames striker Chiukepo Msowoya, who is scoring constantly on the domestic scene, headed home a Yamikani Fodya corner-kick to hand Mtawali a victory.

Mtawali, who falls short of qualifications and requirements which Fam indicated in an advertisement, believes he has guts and guile to guide the Flames to 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Obviously, I think I am quite capable of handling the task. I have the knowledge and expertise to lead the team to Gabon. I have already started laying the ground work and I think it is possible to reach Afcon finals,” said the former Flames under-20 coach who worked with Azam Tigers coach Gerald Phiri Junior as the assistant coach, Chancy Gondwe as the team manager and Swadick Sanudi as the goalkeepers’ trainer.

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The former Flames midfield maestro also said Malawi has good players that require proper guidance and inspiration to deliver the goods.

“I will pick players without fear or favour. Anyone who is enjoying good form will be given an opportunity. It will also be my duty to help players rediscover their form and confidence as slump in form can happen to any player. Besides that, I would also be going in the districts to scout for young raw talent that I can recommend to Super League teams and junior national sides before drafting them into the team,” he said.

Mtawali said he was not blowing his own trumpet but was expressing his confidence to prove to the nation that he was equally good.

One of the players, who did not want to be named, hailed Mtawali’s approach to the game.

“He individually met each one of us explaining why we were starting the game and what we were supposed to do. I am also told that he met the guys that were dropped explaining to them why they were either on bench or in civilian. He also promised to help some of the players that have slumped in form to rediscover their form,” said the player.

Meanwhile, Mtawali said the victory over Uganda was an emotional one after he also made his debut for the Flames in 1992 against Mozambique on Independence Day.

“As a player I won on my debut and as a coach I have also won on my debut. It’s rare to have such a record hence feeling excited,” he said.

Mtawali handed debut to Be Forward Mighty Wanderers full-back Stanley Sanudi and Moyale Barracks striker Deus Nkutu. However, it was overlapping defender Sanudi who made the most of the opportunity with his impressive display

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