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Under-20 face race against time

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Malawi under-20 national football team coaches have 35 days only to scout for players and build a squad that can compete in the 2019 edition of Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) Championship.

In a statement released Monday, Cosafa secretariat says the under-20 championship will involve 12 teams in Lusaka, Zambia, from December 4 to 14.

The championship will involve the Junior Flames, the hosts, defending champions South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mauritius, Seychelles and Mozambique.

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The draw of the competition, which is scheduled for Nkoloma and Woodlands stadium, will take place on November 15 2019.

Malawi is yet to start camp training with Football Association of Malawi having reportedly proposed Peter Mponda as coach deputised by Masters Security mentor Audlow Makonyola.

Last year, a hastily assembled Junior Flames exited the championship from the group stages after a 1-1 draw with Mozambique was followed by 3-1 and 2-0 losses to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia respectively.

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The Junior Flames have never won the under-20 championship but once reached the final under the tutelage of Stuart Mbolembole.

Poor preparations affect Malawi junior teams’ performance in such regional championships.

Malawi under-17 bowed out of the group stages of the Cosafa Youth Championship which took place at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre after 12 players were dropped for failing an age-screening test.

The test took place a few days before the kick-off of the championship which Zambia, who prepared for the competition for six months, won after beating Mozambique 2-0.

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