Flames under-17 mentor optimistic
Malawi Under-17 national football team coach Deklerk Msakakuona has said he does not want to promise the sun and the moon despite assembling a good squad for this year’s Cosafa Youth Championship.
The junior Flames flew out of the country Tuesday through Kamuzu International Airport ahead of the championship slated for November 19 to 29 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Msakakuona named his final 20-member squad for the tournament. Interestingly, no player from last year’s squad has made it into the squad for this year’s tournament.
Before departure, Msakakuona said he was focusing on building team spirit ahead of the competition.
“The players trained very well. We played two friendly matches against top players in Malawi. We were not after results but team work and coordination. As coaches, we know where to polish up so that the players are ready for the tournament,” he said.
The junior Flames are in Group B alongside Zambia, Botswana and Comoros.
Malawi will begin their group stage campaign with a game against Botswana on Friday before facing Zambia on Sunday.
Malawi last group phase match will be on November 25 against Comoros. The tournament will act as a Zonal qualifier for the 2021 Caf Under-17 Cup of Nations with two top teams making it to the finals in Morocco.
A total of eight teams will take part in the competition which will see top two teams in each group advancing to the semifinals.
Group A comprises South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and eSwatini. Last year, U-17 also exited in the group stages as the tournament was hosted at Mpira Village.
Malawi’s best ever finish in the Cosafa Youth Championship was in 2001 when they won it after beating South Africa 3-0 at home. In 2017 the side won bronze medal in Mauritius.
Below is the full squad:
Alex Dzimbiri, Justice Mhone, Caleb Chirwa
Edward Phiri, Yankho Chitembeya, Innocent Sikwese,
Cliff Mbewe, Andrew Lameck, Pilirani Issa
Prince Minandi, Steven Banda, Precious Chamangwana, James Chomba, Renald Mapulanga, McDonald Chiwanda
Enock Dumuza, Islam Mayiwa, Chifundo Mphasi, Samson Zakeyu, Timothy Nyasulu