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Premier Bet Wizards dominate under-20 call-up

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Struggling TNM Super League side, Premier Bet Wizards, have dominated the Malawi under-20 national football team squad which went into camp yesterday at Mpira Village in Blantyre.

Despite their poor performance in the TNM Super League, Wizards have contributed six players to the 28-man squad, which is preparing for the Cosafa Youth Championship scheduled for Zambia from December 6 to 16.

The junior Flames are in Group A alongside Uganda, Swaziland, the hosts and defending champions Zambia.

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Wizards, who lie 14th with 23 points from 26 games on the league’s log table, have contributed to the under-20 squad Kelvin Kadzinje, Sydney Chambulika, Charles Petro, Frank Mlimanjira, Misheck Botomani and Patrick Phiri.

Silver Strikers, who lie third on the league’s log table, have contributed to the squad the second highest number of players— Kondwani Mwaila, Hadj Wali, Levison Maganizo, Ronald Pangani and Patrick Njolomole.

Nyasa Big Bullets and their reserve side are being represented in the squad by Ernest Petro, Mike Mkwate, Chimwemwe Idana and Nixon Nyasulu.

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League leaders, Be Forward Wanderers, have contributed Precious Sambani and Francisco Madinga, whereas Dwangwa United have Charles Thom and Ben Manyozo in the junior Flames’ squad.

Griffin Young Stars also have contributed to the squad Peter Banda and Maxwell Daudi.

America-based Azriel Johnson, who plays for St. Benedicts after moving from Zimbabwe, is the only foreign-based player in the squad.

The other players are Hastings Banda (Fish Eagles), Christopher Mikuwa (Blantyre United), Gregory Nachipo (Blue Eagles), Timothy Silwimba (Mzuni), Clement Bindula (Masters Security Reserves) and Abel Mwakilama (Chitipa United).

Football analyst Enos Chatama, who is also involved in coaching at youth level, said Wizards’ dominance could be because the team has many players within the required age group.

“The other teams may not have many players under the age of 20. So, Wizards have gained an advantage since they believe in recruiting young players,” Chatama said.

The entire Flames technical panel, headed by Head Coach Ronny van Geneugden, has been deployed to drill the team.

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