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No rest for Plate winners

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After winning the Plate Section of the Cosafa Castle Cup, the Flames, are expected to regroup today (Monday) at Chiwembe to resume Afr ica Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers preparations.

Flames coach Young Chimodzi, speaking on arrival from South Africa at Chileka Airport on Saturday, said the players were given a day off to reflect on their Cosafa escapades.

“Obviously, a day is enough for the players to relive the Cosafa experience. We now must forge ahead and concentrate on our next game. We have taken note of the areas that need strengthening,” he said.

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Chimodzi said the Flames would add steel when they welcome experienced professional players, who missed the Cosafa Cup due to different reasons ranging from club commitments, personal deals and injuries.

“If we get the professionals, we will strengthen the team in those areas. Most of the professionals are experienced and we need their presence to add steel,” he said.

Veteran forward Esau Kanyenda, midfielder Robert Ng’ambi, striker Atusaye Nyondo and defender Harry Nyirenda all missed the Cosafa campaign but are expected back in the team in preparation of the Afcon qualifier.

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Chimodzi was hoping that the friendly match against Egypt would help the Flames prepare for the Zimbabwe match.

“The friendly is important as it will give us a chance to examine if the weak areas have improved,” he said.

Flames vice skipper Lucky Malata said the Cosafa Castle Cup was a good learning point.

“We have learnt lessons and as a team, we are highly charged to rectify the mistakes,” he said.

Veteran winger Fischer Kondowe said winning Cosafa Plate had motivated them ahead of the Zimbabwe game.

“Of course it is not the main cup, but still more it has motivated us. It has given us drive to work hard,” he said.

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