Mtawali optimistic about future

The Youthful Flames

Flames coach Ernest Mtawali has said despite being booted out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign, the future looks promising for the national team.
Despite beating Tanzania’s Taifa Stars 1-0 in the return leg encounter of the preliminary qualifiers, the Flames bowed out 1-2 on aggregate following their 2-0 loss in the first leg in Dar es Salaam last Wednesday.
Midfielder John Banda scored the Flames’ goal in the first half after burly forward Chiukepo Msowoya had done the spade work.
“It is sad that we have been booted out. I think we lost the plot in the first leg when we lost 2-0.
“Nevertheless, the solace is that our rebuilding phase is now taking shape and that we still have a chance to qualify for [2017] Africa Cup of Nations,” he said
Mtawali said his philosophy is to build a good team with a blend of  up-and-coming  and  experienced players.
His team has inexperienced players such as Stanley Sanudi, Miracle Gabeya, Isaac Kaliyati, Schumacher Kuwali, Dalitso Sailesi, Chawanangwa Kawonga, Yamikani Chester and Brighton Munthali.
Though criticised by some quarters for not including majority of professional players, Mtawali said he had drawn positives from the World Cup qualifier.
“We need to get friendly games. It’s important that these youngsters must continue playing together in a few international games to get used to the system that l am trying to introduce in the national team.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said the association was ready to give the coach full support to his programmes.
“We employed the coach with the aim of seeing him succeed. The team has some good talent and indeed what they need is more exposure.”


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