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Professionals to beef up Flames squad

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Malawi National Football Team, the Flames Coach, Ronny van Geneugden (RVG), has recalled Nyasa Big Bullets defender Miracle Gabeya and midfielder Mike Mkwate ahead of the trip to Morocco for an invitational tournament.

Foreign-based players are also expected to bolster the Flames’ squad for the six-member tournament to involve the hosts, Mauritania, Togo, Kenya and Niger from August 31 to September 4.

Van Geneugden yesterday confirmed the inclusion of the Bullets’ duo.

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The coach has, however, released from camp Silver Strikers forward Matthews Sibale, Red Lions winger Innocent Mlima, Innocent Tanganyika from Civil Sporting Club and Blantyre United’s Ibrahim Sadiki.

The Belgian said he believes the recalled duo has the capacity to contribute to the performance of the team which regrouped at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Monday.

“I have always said that the door is wide open for any player who is eligible to play for Malawi. When I released the first call-up, I did not say that it was a final one. So any player who impresses is welcome in my team,” the Belgian coach said.

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Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, confirmed that the foreign-based players, save for Blomfontein Celtic striker Atusaye Nyondo, would beef up the Flames.

Mozambique-based Charles Swini, Frank Banda (Songo), John Banda (Ferroviaro de Nampula), South Africa-based Gerald Phiri Junior, Gabadinho Mhango (Bidvest Wits), Robert Ng’ambi (Platinum Stars) and Limbikani Mzava (Golden Arrows) are expected to join the Flames, Team Manager, Peter Mponda, confirmed yesterday.

Van Geneugden had initially assembled an entirely locally-based squad for the camp training.

Gunda said Fam does not expect foreign clubs to stick to the players because the tournament falls on Fifa calendar.

“Our Moroccan counterparts did well to fix the event on Fifa calendar dates. It will start on August 31 and we expect the foreign-based players to join the team there,” Gunda said.

The tournament will provide the coach an opportunity to win his second game in charge of the Flames after his team scored just once—1- 0 over Comoros Islands— in seven games in all competitions.

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