Malawi care taker Coach Gerald Phiri has told Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and the entire nation to switch their target from next African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and WorldCup finals to later editions.
Phiri, who is also Head Coach for Under 20 Junior Flames, has since pleaded with football lovers to rather concentrate on rebuilding the team.
The coach was commenting on steps Malawi can take inorder to build a strong squad that can frequently qualify to major football tournaments.
He said it is disappointing that as the nation, we have failed to build a strong national team after so many years.
Realistically, Malawi has indeed struggled since 2010 because the transition after its last appearance at the Afcon finals-which was the second in history-was not properly handled.
According to Phiri, a lot of time has already been wasted but Fam and the entire nation need to be patient enough if we are to build a strong team.
“We need to be patient inorder to build a strong team for the future. For instance we have 2019 Afcon finals ahead of us but this should not be our target. Our prime target now should not be Afcon and World Cup qualification but rather focus on building a team as our team is
currently at its lowest,” said Phiri.
He, therefore, openly revealed that Malawians should forget qualifying to Afcon in 2019 advised Malawi FA to come up with a proper plan to enable Flames qualify for 2021 Afcon finals.
“Let us make realistic plans and FAM should be able to update Malawians on the plans. We have been failing because we are short sighted and go for immediate results that way nothing can workout. There is no way you can build a team in two years, we atleast need to give ourselves a target of three or four years,” said Phiri.
“This is the right time to start nurturing new talent and government with assistance from stakeholders need to come up with a good funding to assist in the building process,” he added.
Phiri said as Malawians, we have collectively contributed to the downfall of Flames and need to accept and share the blame without pointing out fingers.
He blamed the media for always criticizing coaches whom he said their wishes and demands are not met by the FA when handed the responsibility of coaching the team.
Meanwhile, Phiri has assembled a 33 member youthful and uncapped squad currently in camp ahead of an international friendly against a Chinese team.
The match will be played on the 28th January 2017 at the newly built State-of-The-Art Stadium in Lilongwe.
The match is part of celebrating the official opening of the magnificant stadium which was built with funding from the Chinese Government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :