Malawi national football team’s preparations for the 2020 World Cup qualifier against Botswana received a boost following the arrival of South Africa-based duo of striker Richard Mbulu and midfielder Gerald Phiri Junior.
The duo arrived on Sunday to join the home-based players who had been training for the past three weeks.
Flames Team Manager, James Sangala, said the arrival of the two was a morale-booster ahead of the match scheduled for Saturday in Francistown.
Sangala said John Banda, Robin Ngalande and Yamikani Chester were expected to arrive Monday.
“Mbulu and Phiri were given a warm welcome by the whole team on Sunday. This is what we need to enhance team spirit. Our preparations have been progressing well and we expect to have a full squad by Wednesday [tomorrow],” Sangala said.
Mbulu and Phiri, who are teammates at South African Premier Soccer League side Baroka FC, are among the six foreign-based players Flames Coach Meck Mwase has called up for the back-to-back assignments against the Zebras.
Sangala said Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango will join the team in Johannesburg enroute to Botswana tomorrow.
Malawi and Botswana meet in the return match at Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday.
The full list of players called up for camp training at Mpira Village in Blantyre is as follows:
Goalkeepers-Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers), Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets), William Thole (Be Forward Wanderers)
Defenders-Charles Petro (Bullets), Stanley Sanudi (Wanderers), Trevor Kalema (Silver), Peter Cholopi (Wanderers), Dennis Chembezi (Wanderers), Precious Sambani (Bullets), Gomezgani Chirwa (Bullets)
Midfielders-Mike Mkwate (Bullets), Chimwemwe Idana (Bullets), Chikoti Chirwa (Kamuzu Barracks), Peter Banda (Bullets), Micium Mhone (Eagles), Yamikani Chester (North Carolina FC, USA), John Banda (Ferraviaro de Nampula, Mozambique), Phiri Jnr, Francisco Madinga (Wanderers), Alfred Manyozo Jnr (Wanderers), Felix Zulu (Wanderers), Chimango Kaira (Bullets)
Strikers-Hassan Kajoke (Bullets), Patrick Phiri (Bullets), Gabadinho, Mbulu, Robin Ngalande (Zira FK, Azerbaijan).