Kumwenda upbeat on Flames victory

United States based attacker Henri Kumwenda believes Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against São Tomé and Príncipe gives Malawi home ground advantage and edge their opponents as Malawi looks for first home win.

Kumwenda who plays for Butler Men’s Soccer is part of the 26-man squad coach Patrick Mabedi has called into camp to prepare for the crucial double header that will also see the Flames travelling to the Equatorial Guinea a few days later.

The lad is among the new generation of foreign country based  players with Malawian roots coach Mabedi has identified over the past months aimed at improving his team to mount a realistic challenge in various competitions the team will play.

Kumwenda said while it will be the first time to make it to the final Flames squad in a competitive assignment, he will take the opportunity with both hands and to prove to both the coach and the nation that he has what it takes to be in the squad.

He was part of the Flames pre-camp for 2021 Cameroun AFCON but did not make the final squad.

In March this year he made his official debut during the Four Nations tournament when he came in as a substitute in the third place playoff against Zambia.

Said Kumwenda: “I am very excited and I know friends and family are wishing me luck. The group of players  in the current squad is very talented if you watch them in training even in matches. As the coach has said we have an opportunity to do something very special that we have never done before such as qualifying for the World Cup. This can mean a lot to the country and the players.

“It is an honour to be part of the team and play for your country. To have the coaches’ trust, and be able to perform is motivating. It gives a lot of confidence. I have been part of this team before but was not able to make the final squad and that has given me a platform to build on,” he said.

Although the match will be played on Thursday, there is high expectation that a huge crowd will throng the BNS to cheer the beloved Flames as it embarked on yet another journey with expectations amongst football fans sky high.

To this, Kumwenda said: “My message to the fans is that please come, please be loud and be intimidating, come and enjoy good football. We will give out everything so that we get the three points which is the most important thing and give the fans value for their money.

Tickets for the match are already on sale at various points that have been advertised by the Football Association of Malawi.


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