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Fam reshuffles Scorchers, Under-20 panels

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TO ADVISE SCORCHERS—Mabedi

Ntopwa FC Technical Director Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman has downplayed his sudden removal as physical fitness trainer for the Malawi Under-20 Women’s National Football Team.

“This is football and you have to respect such decisions. I am not bitter and life has to go on. I don’t have time to question them. It is not the first time it has happened in football,” he said.

Osman appeared on the initial list but has been replaced by Sungeni Msiska as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) reshuffled coaching panels for both Scorchers and Under-20 sides ahead of international competitions.

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Fam Sub Technical Committee Chairperson Tiya Somba-Banda defended the decision, saying Osman’s name appeared on the technical panel before the final list was released.

“The name came out on the provisional list before it was confirmed,” he said.

However, Maggie Chombo has been maintained as Under-20 women’s national team coach.

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Mighty Tigers Coach Trevor Kajawa is new under-20 assistant coach whereas Scholastica Khunga is the second assistant coach.

Benjamin Kumwenda has been appointed as technical adviser with Vales Kamzere as goalkeepers’ trainer.

The young Scorchers started preparations on Sunday in Lilongwe ahead of the 2022 Costa Rica Fifa U-20 World Cup preliminary round match against Zambia.

The side will start the World Cup campaign away in Lusaka on September 26, before hosting Zambia in the second leg between October 7 and 9.

Meanwhile, Fam has roped in Thom Mkolongo as Malawi Women’s National Football Team interim coach ahead of the Cosafa Women’s Championship later this month.

The appointment is specifically for the Cosafa Women’s Championship slated for September 28 to October 9 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Following the reshuffle, former Scorchers coach McNerbet Kazuwa will be the first assistant whereas Andrew Chikhosi is the second assistant coach.

Fam has also appointed Flames legend Patrick Mabedi as technical adviser while Philip Nyasulu is the goalkeepers’ trainer.

Somba-Banda confirmed that Mkolongo has been considered due to his vast knowledge of the game.

“We believe he will bring the much needed experience to the team,” he said.

Mkolongo is expected to start drilling the team this week once he gets clearance from his employer, Ascent Soccer Academy.

Mkolongo Monday confirmed his appointment but was reluctant to comment further.

The Scorchers are currently in camp in Blantyre preparing for the tournament after they were drawn in Group A alongside hosts and defending champions South Africa, Angola and Mozambique.

Last year, Malawi reached the semifinals but lost 6-2 to South Africa.

However, the team will be without China-based Chawinga sisters Tabitha and Temwa due to club commitments.

The winner between Malawi and Zambia will face Mauritania or Ghana in the next round.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said the initial technical panel had misgivings and the reshuffle was in order.

“The only challenge is in the Under-20 technical panel where people believe that Trevor Kajawa was supposed to be the head coach. Suffice it to say that the choice of Maggie Chombo is in line with women’s football where it has to be headed by a female coach. The position of Kadzuwa needs to be clarified; so, too, the omission of Jomo Osman who was part of the initial technical panel. Otherwise, the two panels are impressive,” he said.

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