Malawi Under-23 National Football Team is scheduled to return home Friday from Antalya, Turkey.
While there, the team played two friendlies, beating Kuwait Under-23 2-0 on Friday before losing 3-0 to Togo on Monday.
Leader of delegation Rashid Mtelera, who is also Football Association of Malawi (Fam) executive committee member, said the team would leave Antalya today and connect to Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, tomorrow.
Speaking in a telephone interview from Antalya, Mtelera described the trip as fruitful, with Turkish clubs showing interest in Malawian players.
“We have several Turkish clubs that have expressed interest in our players. They want to conduct assessments first before deciding on whether to sign them. As an association, we have also found the trip to be beneficial as our coaching department interacted with some of the best trainers in the world.
“It was a learning experience for us, with both players and technical staff benefitting from state-of-the-art facilities here. The trip also attracted various African national teams which also came to learn. At association level, we have also appreciated areas that require improvements for the betterment of our game,” Mtelera said.
There are five Malawian players who will remain in Turkey for trials.
The players are the Nyasa Big Bullets duo of Blessings Mpokera and Alick Lungu, Karonga United striker Mphatso Kamanga, Ekwendeni Hammers midfielder Chawanangwa Gumbo and Bangwe All Stars defender Fanizo Mwansambo.
However, Bullets Chief Administrator Albert Chigoga said he was aware of Mpokera’s trials but expressed ignorance about Lungu’s.
“We only received communication from Fam about Mpokera and we are yet to be communicated to on Lungu. But all in all, this is a good development and we are happy because it is our aim to export our talented players to Europe,” Chigoga said.
It is expected that most of the players who travelled to Turkey will feature in the home-based Malawi National Football Team which will compete in the African Nations Championship.