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Thom Mkolongo turns down Scorchers’ coach offer

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Suzgo Ngwira

Ascent Soccer Academy trainer Thom Mkolongo has turned down the offer to be interim coach for Malawi Women’s National Football Team because he was committed to other assignments.

Mkolongo was appointed as Scorchers interim coach ahead of the Cosafa Women’s Championship slated for September 28 to October 9 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

But in a twist of events, Mkolongo has declined the offer.

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“Following consultations, I am unable to accept this role. The invitation was made at very short notice and I have both personal and work commitments that rely on me being in Lilongwe,” reads part of the letter which The Daily Times has seen.

In the new setup, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) appointed Andrew Chikhosi as first assistant coach whereas Chisomo Nkhoma was named second assistant coach.

McNerbert Kazuwa, who was in charge of the Flames during the 2020 Cosafa Cup, was demoted to the position of physical trainer.

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Under-20 National Football Team Coach Patrick Mabedi is the technical adviser.

Fam Sub-technical committee Chairperson Tiya Somba-Banda also confirmed that Mkolongo excused himself from the post.

“We are making arrangements to appoint a new interim coach within the technical panel,” he said.

Fam is expected to recruit a permanent Scorchers coach after conducting virtual interviews with foreign coaches recently.

National Women’s Football Association Chairperson Suzgo Ngwira said the committee was yet to make a decision.

“We wanted Mkolongo to lead the team in the interim while we are finalising the process of hiring a permanent coach. But we will find a solution,” she said.

The Scorchers are in Group A of the Cosafa Cup alongside South Africa, Mozambique and Angola.

Former Scorchers captain Linda Kasenda said Mkolongo had made a good decision.

“It was like a trap for Mkolongo. The team is already in camp and it was someone who selected the players. Fam should learn to do things in a proper way,” Kasenda said.

Last year, Malawi reached the semifinals of the Cosafa Cup but got eliminated after a 6-2 loss to South Africa.

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