Malawi soccer team off to China

Malawi  national football team aka the Flames left for  China on Sunday morning via Chileka Airport in the commercial city Blantyre where coach Kinnah Phiri said he would want give  exposure to many locally based players.

The Flames are to use the China training camp to prepare for [2014] World Cup and [2013] Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as well as the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup.

Speaking to Nyasa Times at the airport before their departure, the Flames mentor described the trip as important to give domestic players a chance to be learn.

“We are going to China with one purpose which is to give our boys exposure as you are aware that l have selected  locally based players and many of them are still young,” said Phiri.

Some of the players, who have made it for the China trip, are Mighty ‘Nyerere’ Wanderers trio of Foster ‘ZAGAF’ Namwera, Francis Mlimbika and Bongani Kaipa including Joseph ‘Shakira’ Kamwendo, Big Bullets dangerous raider Gabadin Mhango, Henry ‘Magetsi’ Kabichi and George Nyirenda.

Some of the players are Silver Strikers raider Frank Banda, Rodrick Gonani , Ndaziona ‘Section 65’ Chatsalira, Chimango Kaira, Amadu Ali, Civo United defence pillar Pilirani Makupe, Blue Eagles striker John Banda and Steven Chagoma and Escom United custodian Charles Swini.

However, Phiri has also drafted in Flames vast experienced hit-man Esau ‘Black Mamba’ Kanyenda, who will captain the team.

Some of the notable players, who were chopped by Phiri, are Big Bullets captain Fischer ‘Jahman’ Kondowe, unattached Flames right back Elvis Kafoteka, Mighty Wanderers Nafe Misasa.

Phiri said that he dropped Kafoteka and Kondowe because his main interest for the trip was on new faces in the Flames squad.

However, many soccer fans still questions the Flames mentor for keeping  to sideline  Silver Strikers skillful right winger Peter ‘Pido’ Pindani.

Pindani was instrumental last season helping his side to win most of their last games to clinch the 20111-2012 TNM Super League.

The team is expected to play China Under-23 on Wednesday before coming back home to prepare for June competitive matches against Kenya and Nigeria in the World Cup Qualifiers matches and Chad in the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

Kabichi and Banda going to board the plane

Kanyenda and MBC TV sports reporter Chisomo Mwamadi after checking in for China trip. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

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