Mponda optimistic ahead of Cosafa U-20
Malawi Under-20 coach Peter Mponda said he has faith and trust in the squad he has selected for the 2019 Cosafa Youth Championship slated for December 4 to 14 in Lusaka, Zambia.
Mponda and his troops flew out of the country yesterday for the championship and he was brimming with confidence ahead of the tournament.
“We had very good preparations for the tournament. We have a very good bunch of players to do the job for Malawi and we believe in them so it is up to them to give back the trust we have given them. The boys do not have pressure and they are going to Zambia to enjoy the game,” he said.
The Junior Flames are in Group A alongside hosts Zambia, Botswana and Comoros Island.
However, Mponda said he was not focusing on what the opponents were doing ahead of the competition.
“We have got a game plan and we have to implement it. We know that Malawians have been starving of good results but these boys are prepared to give them results. I also want to see the players graduating to the senior team after the tournament and I will say I have achieved my target,” said the former Flames defender.
Malawi begin the 2019
Cosafa Youth Championship with a match against Comoros at Nkoloma Stadium on Thursday before facing Botswana on Saturday at the same venue. They will wrap up Group A campaign against Zambia on Monday at the same venue.
One of the local football analysts, George Kaudza- Masina said the nation should not expect surprises from the Junior Flames.
“Let us not expect more because it is a new team. It is not easy to build a team and it will take time for them to perform,” he said.
Group B comprises defending champions South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar and Mauritius whereas Group C has Angola, eSwatini, Mozambique and Seychelles.
Winners in each group will advance to the semifinals and they will joined by the overall best runner-up. For the past three editions, the Junior Flames have never reached the semifinals of the competition.