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Flames veterans tip rookies to shine in Cosafa Cup

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As the Malawi gears up for a quarterfinal battle against Mozambique’s Mambas in Cosafa Cup on Monday next week, the Flames veterans, who have skipped the regional competition, have said the tournament is an opportunity for the rookies to market themselves to prospective foreign clubs.

Coach Young Chimodzi has been challenged to win the Cosafa Cup, but he will have to do this without the help of some of his senior players that have been ruled out due to several reasons.

Most of them have decided to opt out of the Cosafa Cup that has produced some notable names in the region, in order to give a chance to up and coming players that are in the squad.

Captain Joseph Kamwendo, who has not travelled with the team as his side TP Mazembe is preparing for Caf Champions League, said he has all the confidence that the squad coach Chimodzi has assembled was capable of winning the Cosafa.

“I wish the team all the best. I think it is good for up and coming players to get that chance and show what they can bring to the team,” he said.

“I am happy that at least, the other players get this chance and I know they will make us proud.”

Another senior player, Esau Kanyenda, though initially listed on the Cosafa squad, is also not available.

If he had made it to Cosafa, Kanyenda could perhaps have been the oldest player to appear at the Cosafa.

The Black Mamba, launched

his international career at the Cosafa over 10 years ago.

He was part of the squad that reached the final of the competition in 2002 and eventually lost to South Africa.

Kanyenda, who has just renewed his contract with his side Polokwane City, said he needed time to rest after the Premier League while also giving a chance to up and coming players.

Also missing from the squad are forward Atusaye Nyondo, midfielder Robert Ng’ambi and striker Gabadinho Mhango.

Ng’ambi and Mhango miss out because of injuries while Nyondo has also excused himself from the squad.

Black Leopards’ Harry Nyirenda is also ruled out as his club is involved in PSL promotional play-offs.

But coach Chimodzi said before departing for South Africa on Thursday, that he has confidence in his squad.

“We have players that are doing well in the Super League plus some experienced players that have been in the team for a while,” he said.

“Even in the absence of the foreign based players we can win the Cosafa Cup.”

Apart from the usual campaigners from the Super League like captain Lucky Malata, John Lanjesi, Fischer Kondowe and goalkeeper McDonald Harawa, the coach has included rookies Ernest Tambe of Surestream, Red Lions’ hot property Chikoti Chirwa, Tizgobere Kumwenda, Victor Limbani and Muhammad Sulumba.

Zimbabwe-based professional Gerald Phiri Jnr of Caps United is also set to play his first competitive game for the Flames.

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