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Flames regroup Sunday

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Malawi national football team coaching panel has disclosed that it will name a strong squad for the Cosafa Castle Cup which kicks off on May 27 in South Africa.

The Flames’ assistant Coach, Peter Mponda, said this will be done to ensure they deliver the goods.

He said the Flames will regroup in Blantyre on Sunday and most foreign-based players will be available for the tournament.

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“We are regrouping on Sunday but the actual training starts on Monday. Last year, Coach Ronny van Geneudgen took youngsters to the tournament but we fared miserably. This year, we are going with a strong squad comprising foreign-based players and outstanding Super League players.

“We are not going to Cosafa just to participate but to compete for honours. If we gamble by taking young blood only just to please some quarters in football, it might backfire on us,” Mponda said.

However, the Flames Captain Limbikani Mzava of South Africa’s Golden Arrows, Mozambique-based Charles Swini and Frank Banda have been ruled out of the championship due to several reasons, including club commitments.

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Other South Africa-based players that are expected to join the squad are Gerald Phiri Junior of Platinum Stars, Baroka FC striker Robin Ngalande and Atusaye Nyondo of Bloemfontein Celtic.

From Mozambique, Chawanangwa Kawonga, John Banda and Schumacher Kuwali are also expected to join the Flames alongside Zambia-based Dalitso Sailesi.

The Flames are in group B alongside Botswana, Mauritius and Angola. The overall winner of the group will face seeded Zimbabwe in the quarter-finals.

The Flames will start the campaign against Mauritius on May 27 then date Botswana on May 30, before winding up the preliminary round by playing against Angola on June 1.

Malawi has never won the Cosafa Cup but reached the final in 2002 and 2003.

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