Malawi Malawi coach names 12 rookies in AFCON provisional squad

Malawi stand-in coach Mario Marinica has named a provisional 34-member home-based squad, that includes 12 juniors, for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Cameroon.

Marinica announced the squad in Blantyre on Tuesday alongside Meck Mwase, who is now the Romanian’s assistant after being demoted from the post following a string of poor results in the World Cup qualifiers.

Mwase steered the Flames, who are in Group B alongside Senegal, Zimbabwe and Guinea, to the AFCON finals.

However, over the weekend, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) announced that Marinica, whose substantive position is Technical Director, will lead the team in Cameroon due to tactical deficiencies observed under Mwase in the World Cup qualifiers.

Now, Mirinica has callled up 12 new rookies: Nyasa Big Bullets Reserve goalkeeper Clever Mkungula, Rumphi United goalkeeper Innocent Nyasulu, defenders Norchard Chimbalanga (Mafco), Lawrence Chaziya (Civo), Kelvin Kazinje (Mzuzu Warriors), Emmanuel Nyirenda (Mighty Tigers) Andrew Lameck (Bangwe All Stars); midifidersDavid Daudi and Innocent Msowoya (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves), Robert Saizi (Mpima Academy; strikers Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United) and Chikondi Mbeta (Maggie Chombo Academy.

Marinica said they have included youthful players in the squad to ensure proper transition from junior to senior teams.

“We want to have a proper transition of the players from the junior teams to the senior teams and this is why we have included some players from the U20 team so that they learn from the senior players as they train and at the same time familiarise themselves with the philosophy that we are introducing,” Marinica told FAM website.

The home-based squad started camp training  at Mpira Village in Blantyre on Tuesday evening. Most regulars for the Flames are based in South Africa.

The Flames final squad for AFCON finals is expected to be released by December 23 2021.

Malawi will begin their AFCON campaign against Guinea on January 10 before facing Zimbabwe on January 14 and

Senegal on January 18 2022.

Full provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Clever Mkungula (Nyasa Big Bullets Youth),William Thole, Richard Chipuwa (Be Forward Wanderers),Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets),Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers),Innocent Nyasulu (Rumphi United)

Defenders Nickson Nyasulu,Gomezgani Chirwa(Nyasa Big Bullets),Stainley Sanudi,Peter Cholopi(Be Forward Wanderers), Paul Ndlobvu,Norchard Chimbalanga ( MAFCO),Mark Fodya (Silver Strikers), Lawrence Chaziya (CIVO),Kelvin Kadzinje (Mzuzu Warriors), Emmanuel Nyirenda (Mighty Tigers),Andrew Lameck (Bangwe All Stars)

Midfielders: Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions), Chimwemwe Idana (Nyasa Big Bullets),Yamikani Chester (Be Forward Wanderers), David Daud,Innocent Msowoya (Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves), Misheck Seleman (Nyasa Big Bullets),John Banda (UD Songo),Schumacker Kuwali (UD Songo),Tawonga Chimodzi (Silver Strikers),Loyd Njaliwa (Moyale Barracks),Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles),Robert Saizi (Mpima Academy), Wisdom Mpinganjira ( Be Foward Wanderers)

Strikers:Mphatso Kamanga (Karonga United),Chikondi Mbeta ( Maggie Chombo Acadamy),Hassan Kajoke (Nyasa Big Bullets),Vincent Nyangulu (Be Forward Wanderers)

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