New Flames care-take Coach Gerald Phiri says he is happy with the response of his players in camp ahead of an international friendly against the Republic of China later this month. The Flames are scheduled to play against a team from China as part of activities on the official opening of the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Phiri told Nyasa Times that each of the 32 players in camp is training hard to impress the technical panel ahead of the game. He said all the players called for camp reported on time except for Silver Striker’s Mathew Sibale who is reported to have travelled to Tanzania on family matters.
“I can assure that we have probably one of the best developmental sides that we have never ever assembled before. Most of these players are not regulars at their clubs but have great potential of representing the country in future.
“I have pleaded with the mother body (referring to the Football Association of Malawi) to come up with proper plans for this group of players because this is where the senior Flames can rely on in the next decade or so,” said Phiri.
Phiri who is also a Coach for the Flames Under 20 side apart from doubling his duties with Azam Tigers said he is not affected by the release of six players who have left the camp to join the rest of the TNM super league select side set to play against reigning TNM super league champions Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday.
The game will be part of TNM’s ten- year celebrations since they started bankrolling the country’s top elite league.
“We have released six players to join TNM select side plus our team Manager Peter Mponda. This won’t affect our preparations and we hope to reunite with them this weekend as we will also be travelling to Lilongwe for further preparations. We planned to train in Blantyre for a week and the other week at Bingu Stadium,” said Phiri.
Meanwhile, Phiri has comfirmed that he is set to trim the squad to 23 or 25 players before they travel to Lilongwe on Saturday or Sunday.
Among the six players who have left the camp for TNM select side are Wamderer’s duo Stanley Sanudi and Isaac Kaliati, Mike Mkwate and Dalitso Sailesi who both stars for Nyasa Bullets and Silver Striker’s promising gem Thuso Paipi.