Flames foreign-based players lack game time

MARINICA— I do not believe in pressure

While Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marian Marinica has complained about the fitness levels of local based players, majority of the foreign-based players also lack game time at their respective clubs.

The Flames will face the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches between March 20-28 in Cairo and Bingu National Stadium.

However, some of the foreign based players are also inactive.


Reliable striker Gabadinho Mhango has not featured for DStv Premiership side Amazulu in the last three matches whereas defender Chembezi Dennis (Black Leopards) and Khuda Muyaba (Polokwane City) are also struggling for game time.

Mhango has scored five goals for Amazulu whereas Muyaba has netted two goals for Polokwane this season.

In an interview on Thursday, Marinica admitted that it was a concern.


“Yes, I know, obviously but we cannot interfere with clubs’ programme and schedule. Of course, we advise them to keep going to the gym and hope they should get back in the first eleven soon,” Marinica said.

Again, Francisco Madinga has just joined Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana whereas Charles Petro moved to Botosani FC in Romania from Moldova.

Defender Limbikani Mzava is hunting for club whereas John Banda is in the country for offseason break.

Chikoti Chirwa, Yamikani Chester, Richard Mbulu and Llyod Njaliwa have just joined Costa do Sol of Mozambique.

Former Flames midfielder Sherry Msuku said the situation is not good for Malawi.

“It is a big concern for us because we need players who are active at their respective clubs. Match fitness is very important,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Flames local based players are set to regroup on Monday next week after they were released on Wednesday to join their respective clubs.

After three days of camping at Mpira Village in Blantyre, Marinica said he was still concerned with the fitness levels.

“The players look so unfit which is normal because we know this is because most of them have not played any game since December.

“We had fitness clinics before this camp which somehow helped in improving their fitness levels but they are not yet there in as far as competitive matches are concerned,” he said.

The players will undergo physical fitness and medical tests on Monday before the second week of camp.

They will then relocate to Lilongwe on February 19 ahead of friendly against Lesotho on February 25 at BNS.

Malawi will leave on March 8 for a two-week camp in Saudi Arabia.

Flames are second in Group D with three points from two matches behind Ethiopia on goal difference.

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