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Fam to rehire British experts

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TIYA SOMBA-BANDA

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has said it will again engage two Britons Clwyd Jones and Ged Searson in the near future.

The association hired Jones and Searson as physiologist and data analyst, respectively, specifically for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.

After Flames’ exit in the Round of 16 following the 2-1 loss to Morocco’s Atlas Lions, the two Britons flew straight to England from Cameroon.

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Fam sub-technical committee Chairperson Tiya Somba-Banda heaped praise on Jones and Searson.

“Their expertise has helped us quite a lot and we will definitely be using them on need basis across the competitions ahead of us,” Somba-Banda said.

The two Britons were hired after the association realised that there was a gap in the technical panel.

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Fam Technical Director Mario Marian Marinica, who led the team during the Afcon, will continue to work with coach Meck Mwase.

Marinica also hailed the two experts.

“Their help was huge on both opponents and players assessment and progress monitoring. Modern science and applied skills are part and parcel of the modern game,” Marinica said.

Flames captain Limbikani Mzava also said the two played an important role during the Afcon.

National Football Coaches Association General Secretary Davie Mpima said Jones and Searson had a positive impact.

“I got information from our chairperson (Aubrey Nankhuni) that they did a good work. I believe the technical panel learnt a lot from them,” Mpima said.

Before working with Flames, the two Britons worked with several clubs in Europe.

Searson, who has 26 year’s experience as a scout, had stints with English Premier League side Westham FC, Gillingham FC and Barnet FC.

The Flames reached their first ever Afcon knock-out stage after finishing third in Group B with four points from three games.

In the group stage, Malawi beat Zimbabwe 2-1 before a goal-less draw with Senegal. But the team lost 1-0 to Guinea in the opening match. The Flames have been seeded from the preliminary round of the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.

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