The Malawi national football team, the Flames have today left for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in this year’s Cecafa East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup.
Flames coach Ernest Mtawali said before departure that he is optimistic that the team will do well.
“Of course, we will use the tournament to prepare for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as well as continue with the rebuilding drive, but over and above that, we have to compete for honours,” he said.
The Flames mentor and his assistant Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan have included two uncapped players namely Civo United red-hot attacking midfielder Nelson Kangunje and Fisd Wizards’ up-and-coming midfielder Levison Maganizo.
The squad of 19 players also includes four foreign-based players—goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, midfielders Chimango Kayira and Gerald Phiri Jnr and striker Chawanangwa Kawonga.
TNM Super League champions Big Bullets have contributed six players— defenders Yamikani Fodya, Miracle Gabeya, Sankhani Mkandawire and Pilirani Zonda, midfielder Dalitso Sailesi and striker Chiukepo Msowoya wile Be Forward Wanderers have contributed three players—goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa, defender Stanely Sanudi and midfielder Isaac ‘Tcheya’ Kaliyati.
The team, which is paired in a group comprising Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti, will be led by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive member Alexander Waya.
The full list of players is as follows: Goalkeepers: Nthala and Chipuwa; Defenders: Sanudi, Zonda, Mkandawire, Gabeya, Fodya and John Lanjesi; Midfielders: Kayira, Phiri Jnr, Kaliati, John Banda, Yamikani Chester, Sailesi, Maganizo and Kangunje; Strikers: Chiukepo, Schumacher Kuwali, and Chawanangwa.