Flames Head of Technical Mario Marian Marinica has released a 30-man provisional squad for tge next month’s COSAFA Cup to take place in Durban, South Africa.
The Romanian has opted for a mixture of local and foreign country-based players as he targets to use the regional tournament to prepare for the Championship of African Football, (CHAN) and African Cup of Nations Qualifiers between July and September.
The squad is dominated by local players with only four foreign country-based players making it up.
Flames hitman, Gabadinho Mhango, Al Hilal midfielder, Gerrad Phiri, Jordan based-defender, Lawrence Chaziya, Georgia-based midfielder, Fransisco Madinga, Moldova-based midfielder, Charles Petro and Alick Lungu have all been dropped from squad paving way for uncapped players.
Kamuzu Barracks’ duo of defender Helbert Wayekha and midfielder Patrick Banda, Bullets’ forward Anthony Mfune, Tigers’ defender Frank Chikufenji, Hammers’ midfielder, Chawangwa Gumbo, Wanderers’ midfielder, Mwakanyango Balikinho, and Trouble Kajani are the uncapped players that have caught Marinica’s eyes.
Hadji Wali, Precious Sambani, Schumacher Kuwali, Lloyd Njaliwa, Chawangwa Kaonga have been called back into the camp for the preparations.
UD Songo’s midfielder, Captain John Banda leads the foreign based contingent that also included Polokwane’s defender, Dennis Chemebezi, striker Khuda Muyaba and Peter Banda who missed Afcon Qualifiers against Ethiopia and Guinea due to injury.
Here is the full squad:
Goalkeepers: Ernest Kankhobwe, Clever Nkungula, Charles Thom
Defenders: Dennis Chembezi, Stanley Sanudi, Herbert Wayekha, Paul Ndlovu, Blessings Mpokera, Kelvin Kadzinje, Gomezgani Chirwa, Frank Chikufenji, Hadji Wali, Precious Sambani.
Midfielders: John Banda, Chimwemwe Idana, Yamikani Chester, Schumacher Kuwali, Micium Mhone, Chikoti Chirwa, Chawanangwa Gumbo, Patrick Banda, Peter Banda, Mwakanyango Balikinho, Loyd Njaliwa.
Attackers: Khuda Myaba, Stain Dave, Anthony Mfune, Chawanangwa Kaonga, Gaddie Chirwa, Chiukepo Msowoya, Trouble Kajani.
Technical Panel: Marian Mario Marinica (Head of Techncial Panel), Patrick Mabedi (Assistant Coach), Franco Ndawa (Assistant Coach), Clwyd Jones (Assistant Coach/Sports Psychologist/Data Analyst), James Sangala (Technical Support Manager) Steve Madeira(Assistant Technical Support Manager), Victor Mphande (Goalkeeper Trainer), Gift Ligomeka (Team Doctor), Chikondi Mandalasi (Physiotherapist), , Lawrence Waya (Intern Data Analyst), Richard Justin Kit Manager.
Mean while football analysts back Marinica’s selection saying its a tournament that helps to give game time to players that rarely featured for the team.
However, others say he would have selected the full squad saying it could be Flames’ chance of grabbing the championship of the regional tournament.
Flames are in group B alongside Lesotho, Eswatin and Mauritius.
Malawi will open their campaign against Lesotho on july 6 at the King Zwelithini Stadium before facing Eswatini at the same venue two days later. Marinica’s Flames will play their final group match against Mauritius at the Princess Magogi on July 10.
If Malawi top the group, they will face Senegal in the quarterfinals on July 13 at Princess Magogo Stadium.
The named players are supposed to report for training on Monday at Mpira Village at Chiwembe, Blantyre.