Under-23 leave today for Turkey tourney
Malawi Under-23 National Football Team is expected to depart today for a tri-nation tournament slated for March 24 to 29 in Turkey.
While in Turkey, the young Flames will face Kuwait in the opening match on March 24 before meeting Togo four days later.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Technical Director Marian Mario Marinica, who will be in charge of the team alongside Patrick Mabedi and Deklerk Msakakuona, has named a 26-member squad for the trip.
The squad comprises two players who were part of the Flames Afcon squad in Cameroon, namely Tiraspol Sherriff defender-cum midfielder Charles Petro and Dila Gori attacking midfielder Francisco Madinga.
Simba SC attacker Peter Banda has been ruled out of the trip due to club commitments.
Nyasa Big Bullets defenders Hadji Wali, Blessings Mpokera and Kesten Simbi, Silver Strikers duo of Innocent Shema and Tatenda M’ balaka have also been included in the squad.
Ekwendeni Hammers exciting midfielder Chawanangwa Gumbo, Bullets midfielder Patrick Mwaungulu and Ascent Academy duo of Festus Duwe and Lovemore Mbeta are also in the squad.
Upfront, Marinica has included Sable Farming striker Christopher Gototo, Masambiro Kalua, Emmanuel Saviel, Chifundo Mphasi and Yamikani Chaima.
In an interview yesterday, the Romanian said he was not focusing much on the results during the games in Turkey.
“The training camp went on very well and the response from the players was good. The major hiccup was that Bullets did not release the players on time for Covid tests,” Marinica said.
The trip is used as part of preparations for the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers, the Olympic Games qualifiers and the Cosafa Cup.
Malawi will take part in Chan qualifiers in June this year as well as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Below is the list of players traveling to Turkey.
Goalkeepers: Maxwell Makopa, Chancy Mtete, Emance Nyirenda.
Defenders: Innocent Shema, Kondwani Chirwa, Kelvin Banda, Fanizo Mwansambo, Hadji Wali, Blessings Mpokera, Kestein Simbi, Tatenda M’balaka, Alick Lungu.
Midfielders: Charles Petro, Lloyd Aaron, Chawanangwa Gumbo, Robert Saizi, Festus Duwe, Patrick Mwaungulu, Francisco Madinga, Lovemore Mbeta.
Strikers: Chistopher Gototo, Masambiro Kalua, Mphatso Kamanga, Chifundo Mphasi, Emmanuel Savieli, Yamikani Chaima.