Fam pays tribute to Manfred Hoener
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has described its former technical director the late Manfred Hoener as one of the outstanding pioneers of Malawi football.
Hoener, who is credited with polishing some of Malawi’s best talents, succumbed to heart failure in his German hometown of Hunsruek on Saturday evening aged 79.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu Manda said Hoener had an exceptional eye for spotting talent.
Nyamilandu said the local football fraternity will always remember the German for his excellence in building youthful teams for the future.
“We had exciting and successful national youth teams during his time. Over and above that he worked very hard to expose talented players in Europe to give them a brighter future. If he had been around for long, Malawi football would have immensely benefitted from his expertise and we would have been miles away.
“Personally, I will remember him for opening my doors to the national t e am when Rueben Malola was coach. He also offered me special training sessions with Chimwemwe Gadi when we were going for trials overseas. He did the same with all players who went for trials outside the country. He is probably one of the best expatriates we have had in terms of youth football technical development. May his soul rest in peace,” he told Fam’s website.
One of the high-profile players Hoener polished, Peter Mponda, said the German played a big role in laying the foundation for the team that qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
“I was part of the Dana Cup winning team and captained the under-20 side in Ghana. I then went on to play in the 2010 Afcon qualifiers with other players such as Essau Kanyenda, Moses Chavula, Swadik Sanudi, Robert Ng’ambi, Jimmy Zakazaka, Fischer Kondowe, Peter Mgangira, Allan Kamanga, Dan Chitsulo and Clement Kafwafwa.
“I am proud to have worked with Hoener at junior national team as well as junior league levels between 1997 and 2000. He instilled a dream and mentality that made us develop into that formidable side. He demanded a lot on the pitch while off it, he was a father figure,” Mponda said.
Hoener came to Malawi in the mid-1990s and dedicated most of his efforts to youth development programmes which he successfully executed.
Among other achievements, Hoener is best remembered in football circles for guiding the Malawi Under-18 National Football Team to the Dana Cup title in Denmark and a third place finish at the Gothia Cup in Sweden during the team’s European tour in 1997.
He then went on to lead the Malawi Under-20 National Football Team to a bronze medal finish at the Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship in Botswana later in the same year.
In the following year, the same team qualified for its maiden and only appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations Under-20 tournament in Ghana.
Hoener left Malawi in 2000 after laying the foundation for the country’s Under-17 National Football Team that went on to win the Cosafa Under-17 Championship a year later.
Apart from nurturing talent, he also mentored many local coaches such as incumbent Fam Technical Director John Kaputa.