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Patrick Mabedi, 20 others gun for Flames job

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe & Peter Kanjere:

Some 20 coaches, including Patrick Mabedi, have applied for the Malawi national football team coaching job.

The post fell vacant after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) decided against renewing Belgian Ronny van Geneugden’s contract beyond March 31 2019.

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Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, whose association advertised the post over the weekend, on Monday said local and expatriate coaches have shown interest in the position.

“So far, we have received over 20 applications from local and international coaches. We have started the process and we will close the window as earlier announced [on May 31],” Gunda said.

He could not disclose the number of foreigners and locals who have applied for the job.

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Mabedi Tuesday confirmed that he had applied for the job, having served as an assistant to Eddingtone Ng’onamo and caretaker Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan.

“Yes, I did although I have three offers from South Africa,” said Mabedi who was until last year South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach, having joined from Cape Town All Stars.

The Nation newspaper edition of Tuesday reported that Dutchman Pieter De Jong is among the applicants.

National Coaches Association General Secretary, Davie Mpina, yesterday said he knew that some locals had applied for the job but was not aware of their identities.

“I know that some locals will be picked but I do not think for the actual post of national coach. Speaking as an individual, I don’t think a local coach can succeed with the national team because we don’t get the sort of support that is rendered to expatriates. Coaching the national team is not just about possessing Caf A-Licence but also the experience. To have a winning team is a process which requires support from all stakeholders,” Mpina said.

However, former Flames’ seasoned coaches Yasin Osman and Eddingtone Ng’onamo gave contrasting views when asked if they had applied for the Flames job.

Ng’onamo, who manages Mlatho Mponela, said: “I haven’t applied because I am certain that Fam have already decided on who to pick. If they want an expatriate coach, they will get him at all cost, so I do not want to waste my time.

“However, I do not think there is a coach with the qualifications that I have. I have coached at international level and have qualifications from England and Germany, among other countries.”

Osman, who has, in his career, also served Fam as technical director and general secretary, said he would apply for the post this week.

Thom Mkolongo, who once worked as Flames assistant to Briton Steve Constantine, said Fam should choose the new coach on merit.

“The association should choose a coach with vast experience and a good record. Let us avoid making another mistake. The new coach should also be a person who can produce results and develop players,” he said.

In the interim, Fam appointed Meke Mwase who is in charge of the team at the on-going Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.

Mwase has started on a promising note at the Cosafa Cup, having beaten Seychelles 3-0.

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