Cosafa Cup for player development but good results are also expected

There is strong mixed debate on social media on the performance of Malawi national team at the on-going Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) in which the Flames have lost 0-2 to Tanzania and drew 0-0 with Mauritius.

Many fans are not happy with these two results considering the past three results the team achieved in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in which the Flames bowed out against Madagascar, a team they should have easily shrugged aside and beating less-fancied Comoros Islands 1-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Just like it is with Cosafa Cup, the CHAN is for player development because on domesric league players are allowed to play, not any foreign based –whether within Africa or outside it.

What was painful with bowing out of the CHAN tournament is that the Flames have never qualified for its finals — always bowing out in the early stages of the qualifiers.

Another bitter pill to swallow is always the excuse that we are building a team every time the Flames fail to get good results.

Much as the Cosafa is for player development but still we expect the team to match their counterparts in every aspect because they do are at par with the Flames.

If we have to lose, at least with some dignity in which the team should be scoring goals rather than firong blanks.

With Madagascar, the Flames lost 1-0 in each leg, which shows our players don’t have the proper skills to get past their defenders or to create scoring chances.

I always feel that development players is at grass roots and club levels — not at national team level. I don’t expect our coach to start teaching the players some basics of football but to direct them through his tactical style.

Commenting of Facebook, David Kanyenda said: “Cosafa Cup ought to be treated more as a developmental tournament  with limited emphasis on results. A strictly result -oriented approach to the fixtures defeats the essential purpose of this regional football festival and serves to pile undue pressure on the players and coaches alike.”

I disagree on his thought that asking for good results for a develooment side is putting undue pressure on the players and coaches especially for our team. It is almost the same players who have been together since the new Belgium coach RVG took over.

These are the same players who delight their fans in our TNM Super League. The fact that they were picked by RVG in consultation with his backroom staff shows they deserve a place in the national team.

If the team would lose by, say 2-1, 3-2 or drawing 2-2 or 3-3 and they bow out, I would be somehow happy that they are able to score. But scoring just a single goal in five matches is something which we should not expect even for a developmental side.

We have tried to build a good side for many years, it’s time we had a good house in order.

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