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Locals for Flames

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Newly-appointed Flames’ interim Coach, Gerald Phiri Snr, has said he will use locally-available players for the training match against China Select during the official opening ceremony of Bingu National Stadium on January 28.

Phiri explained that the decision was made when he met Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, at Mpira House in Blantyre.

He said the team will regroup for training on Sunday.

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“We will also consider foreign-based players who are in the country on holiday. Otherwise, if we do not have any foreign-based player here at home, we will feature an entirely home-based team,” Phiri stated.

He said he has confidence in the locally-based players.

Gunda confirmed that the focus on the home-based players was a cost-cutting measure.

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“We did not want to take up the cost of transporting players into the country for the game. But we will accommodate foreign-based players who are in the country up to the day of the match,” Gunda said.

Foreign-based players such as Chimango Kayira and John Banda are back from Mozambique for an off-season break.

China will be the first Asian country to send a football team into the country for a match.

The match will be the second to be played at the Chinese-funded stadium after Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward first used it for their Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza return match.

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