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No surprises in Meke Mwase first squad

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

MEKE MWASE

Malawi national football team interim coach Meke Mwase on Monday named his first squad of 28 local-based players ahead of the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against eSwatini.

The Flames started training Tuesday morning at Mpira Village in Blantyre. Malawi will travel to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) for the first leg on April 20 before playing host on May 11

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But Mwase did not make significant changes to the team built by his predecessor Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) whose contract was not renewed after expiry.

Be Forward Wanderers striker Zicco Nkanda and Moyale Barracks striker Gastin Simkonda have found their way back to the team.

But the squad has familiar faces but, notably missing is Nyasa Big Bullets left back Precious Sambani who has been sidelined due to injury.

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Soon after his appointment, Mwase said people should not expect a change in fortunes in a short period as he needs time to impose his ideas.

“We will work as a group to bring back smiles on the faces talented players who can do well at the top level,” Mwase said.

One local coach, Milias Pofera Jegwe defended Mwase for maintaining the squad he inherited from RVG.

“Looking at the time factor, it was not possible to make wholesale changes to the squad. He has chosen those players who are already active but we should expect changes in the next call up because he will have time to select his own players,” Pofera said.

The Flames failed to go past the preliminary round in the last edition after losing 1-0 to Madagascar on aggregate.

Flames full squad:

Goalkeepers

Ernest Kakhobwe, Richard Chipuwa, Rabson Chiyenda, Brighton Munthali

Defenders

Stanley Sanudi, John Lanjesi, Peter Cholopi , Gomezgani Chirwa, Denis Chembezi, Trevor Kalema, Yamikani Fodya , Charles Petro.

Midfielders

Chikoti Chirwa , Alfred Manyozo, Simeon Singa, Micium Mhone, Felix Zulu, Levison Maganizo, Mike Mkwate, Chimwemwe Idana, Peter Banda.

Strikers

Stain Davie, Khuda Muyaba, Schumacher Kuwali, Chiukepo Msowoya, Patrick Phiri, Gastin Simukonda, Zicco Nkanda.

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