By Mabvuto Kambuwel:
Malawi national football team interim Coach, Meke Mwase, has ruled out the possibility of recalling defender Limbikani Mzava for this year’s Cosafa Cup.
The regional competition is slated for May 25 to June 8 in Durban, South Africa.
The Flames regrouped Sunday at Mpira Village in Blantyre and commence training this morning.
The list of players called up for the preparations is mainly made up of under-23 stars but seniors such as John Lanjesi, Ernest Kakhobwe and Micium Mhone have been included.
Foreign-based players included in the provisional squad include Gerald Phiri Jnr, Gabadihno Mhango, John Banda, Richard Mbulu and Chawanangwa Kaonga.
Asked if he were considering giving Mzava a chance to return, Mwase said he would consider the South Africa-based player in future.
“We are only including five foreign-based players for this year’s Cosafa Cup. The rest are home-based. We just need to prepare well for us to perform at the Cosafa Cup. Our hope is that the players are going into camp without injuries,” Mwase said.
Mzava was one of Malawi’s most reliable players but was suddenly omitted from the squad under Ronny Van Geneugden in October last year.
The former Tigers and Escom United defender has been a regular for his Premier Soccer League club, Golden Arrows. South Africa’s football season ended last week.
A local coach, Thom Mkolongo, stressed the need for national team selectors to pick players on merit.
“Much as it is important to expose under-23 players at the competition, we cannot leave out all our senior players. We should go there to compete as Malawians are always hungry for success,” Mkolongo said.
The Flames begin their Group B campaign in the competition against Seychelles on May 26 at King Zwelithini Stadium before facing Namibia at the same venue two days later.
Malawi will wrap up the preliminary round with a match against Mozambique.
The Flames have never gone past the group stages of the regional showpiece for the past two years.