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Lawrence Waya wants Flames job

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Legendary Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya, whose outrageous football artistry left indelible memories, has put his case on the table to justify why he deserves his turn on Malawi National Football Team’s daunting coaching job.

Waya is among five local coaches, out of 60, who have angled themselves for the Flames job. The position fell vacant following the exit of Ernest Mtawali, who did not earn a contract extension beyond his one-year tenure on July 31.

During the week, Waya dismissed talk that, much as he was a great footballer for Bata Bullets and country becoming second all-time highest scorer with 29 goals in 125 games he has not translated in coaching at the highest level.

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“It is correct that I am interested [in the Flames job] and have always been. I am surprised that I have not been given a chance like anyone else. I have been eager to help,” he said in an exclusive interview from his South Africa base.

“Not coaching at highest level cannot be a reason why they cannot consider me. I have coached at the high level like in the Super League, Malawi Schools’ National Football Team, Malawi Under-17 National Football Team and Lobtrans Gunners in Botswana.”

He added: “That experience is enough to make me coach the national team. I was also a football administrator at Football Association of Malawi (Fam) for three year. I was also involved in football technical meetings concerning the national team. The confidence I had as a football player is the same which can make me excel in coaching the national team.”

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Waya holds an England FA B Licence, Caf C Licence, Certificate in Football Management and Psychology (South Africa), and “I try to learn about the modern game by watching popular leagues in the world on television.”

He said Malawi football lost its way in the jungle of international football “because we broke our development structures that produced the team which won the East and Central Challenge Cup in 1978, 78 and 88, bronze medal in All-Africa Games in Kenya in 1987.”

“The structure we had was Mayors’ Trophy in the North, Central and South regions competed by secondary schools, translating to Malawi Schools’ National Football Team which played matches with fellow African teams. This in turn, supplied players to the senior national team,” Waya explained.

Also eyeing the Flames’ job is Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan. He is the favourite for the post after, as a caretaker, earned the Flames their first win—1-0 over Swaziland— in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 4.

“I knew that I only had a month to the expiry of my contract as the Flames coach. Now that my contract is over, I have no plans. I am free at home,” Ramadhan told Fam website.

Fam General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, has since said their technical sub-committee will, later this month, recommend to the association’s Executive Committee on the identity of the next coach.

Nyirenda confirmed that the 60 coaches have enquired about the Flames’ job. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Eddingtone Ng’onamo, Kinnah Phiri, Yasin Osman, Gilbert Chirwa and Scot Bobby Williamson are also interested.

Kinnah, who coaches Mbeya City Council FC in Tanzania, said he had not applied for the job but would consider such an offer

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