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TD says defenders, goalkeepers are short

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe

Newly appointed Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Technical Director (TD) Marian Mario Marinica has said there is potential talent in Malawi but it is not fully developed.

The Romanian presented his preliminary status report on Malawi football during the executive committee meeting held in Mangochi Friday.

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Marinica said there was a need to put in place well-thought talent development programmes.

“The players’ recruitment system is done apparently more haphazardly and very sentimentally. Physically, most players are short in key positions such as central defence and goalkeeping,” the Romanian explained.

“There, does not seem to be efficient strength and conditioning programmes put in place as most players do not seem to be developed as other opponents on the international stage.”

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Marinica watched all Airtel Top 8 Cup second-leg quarterfinal matches at Chitowe Stadium and Karonga Stadium.

In his report, Marinica said most teams in domestic football play too many unnecessary back and sideways passes.

“At all levels, there seems not to be a clear understanding between pressure and pressing and, in many occasions, many times players are pushing the line when there is no pressure on the ball. Thus, the offside trap does not work and many get frustrated with the referees,” he said.

The Romanian recommended that there is also a need to organise regular refresher courses and coaches development programmes.

However, Fam president Walter Nyamilandu and General Secretary Alfred Gunda were not available for their comments.

National Football Coaches Association General Secretary Davie Mpima said the new TD made correct observations.

“Previously, we had tall defenders and goalkeepers who were able to deal with set pieces,” Mpima said.

As part of his familiarisation tour, Marinica had meetings with Super League teams’ coaches and youth football coaches in Central and Northern regions.

Marinica signed a three-year contract with Fam, replacing John Kaputa, whose contract was not renewed at the end of his deal in June this year.

He is a Pro Uefa licence holder and has over 25 years of experience.

His track record includes having stints with Arsenal Ladies Academy, Crystal Palace (Under-14, U-15 and U-19).

He also worked as technical analyst for Paraguay at the 2006 World Cup finals.

In Africa, he was in charge of South African side Black Leopards, Forest Rangers of Zambia and Azam FC in Tanzania.

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