Flames stand-in captain John CJ Banda says Malawians deserve nothing but victory against Lesotho Likuena (Crocodiles) as the country today celebrates July 6 Independence Day.
The celebrations were for a long time synonymous with a football match at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
This year the celebrations have coincided with the Flames Cosafa Cup campaign opener against Lesotho at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, South Africa.
Banda said the Flames are ready to die for their country on the auspicious day.
He said: “We know the game is on Independence Day which is a very special day for every Malawian. Happy Independence Day. We just have to ensure that we don’t spoil the celebrations.”
Last year Malawi returned from Cosafa Cup without a win after two draws and a loss.
But CJ Banda, who is the most experienced player in the squad, said it is time for Malawi to win the Cosafa Cup.
He said: “I think now it’s time to win the Cosafa Cup. We are here to compete. This year we just have to grow up, work hard and set our target. Our target is the championship.”
Coach Mario has blended both experienced and up and coming players.
He has included debutants such as red hot Bullets midfielder Patrick Mwaungulu and experienced campaigners at Cosafa Cup such as South Africa-based Frank Gabadinho Mhango and Tanzania-based wonder kid Peter Banda.
CJ said the experienced players will be there to guide the up and coming fringe players.
He said: “Every player is looking forward to the tournament. The Cosafa Cup gives a chance to the up and coming players to experience what it is like to play at international stage. They are good players and we will be here to guide them.”