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Scorchers regroup next week for Cosafa Cup

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

Malawi Women’s National Football Team caretaker coaches McNerbert Kazuwa and Andrew Chikhosi have named a 30-member provisional squad for Cosafa Women’s Championship.

The tournament, for a fourth straight year, is expected to take place from September 28 to October 9 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) announced Friday that the Scorchers will regroup on Wednesday at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre.

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Majority of the players who featured during last year’s tournament have been maintained in the provisional squad.

But Captain Tabitha Chawinga and her sister Temwa (both for Wuhan in China) will not be part of the squad due to club commitments.

Lusaka Dynamos duo Patricia Nyirenda and Chimwemwe Madise are part of the squad alongside vice captain Madyina Ngulube, Sabina Thom and Asimenye Simwaka.

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Kazuwa and Chikhosi have handed maiden call ups to several players, including Ascent Academy trio Ireen Khumalo, Melise Lickson, Rose Kabzere, Skippers striker Fazira Chiyembekeza and Ntopwa forward Kondawu Banda.

Chikhosi said they have assembled the best squad.

“Although we will be without Tabitha and Temwa, but we are optimistic of doing better. Our target is to reach the final,” Chikhosi said.

Both Kazuwa and Chikhosi guided the Scorchers to the semi-finals of the competition last year after victories over Lesotho (9-0) and Zambia 1-0. However, the team suffered a 6-2 humiliating defeat to South Africa in the semi-finals.

The Scorchers have never reached the Cosafa Women’s Cup finals despite reaching the semi-finals twice in 2011 and 2020.

Fam Communications and Competitions Director, Gomezgani Zakazaka said the process of recruiting a permanent coach was still underway.

“The good thing is that the Regional Leagues have concluded and the players will be fully committed to the camp until they leave for South Africa,” he said.

Scorchers are in Group A alongside hosts and holders South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. Malawi will open group A campaign against South Africa on September 28 before meeting Mozambique three days later.

They will wrap group matches against Angola on October 4.

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