Malawi Under 20 national soccer team left the country on Monday 5th November 2016 for South Africa where they are expected to participate at this year’s Cosafa Youth Championship.
The competition gets underway this coming Wednesday 7th December and will end on 16th December 2016.
The Junior Flames who have been on and off at the tournament makes a return since their last appearance in 2011 where they were knocked out in the semifinals.
At this year’s tournament, they have been drawn in Griup B against neighbours Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Before departure on Monday morning, Coach Gerald Phiri said the team is ready for the showdown.
“We had a good training camp and the team showed a great determination and character in the friendly games that we played against Super League teams. We are ready for the showdown,” Phiri is quoted on Malawi FA website.
As part of preparations, the team played two training matches against Wizards FC and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers which they lost both by a 2-1 goal margin.
The identification of players for the team was done through trials Football Association of Malawi [Fam] conducted in all the regions of Malawi.
Malawi’s best finish at the Cosafa Under 20 tournament was in 2003 where they finished as runners up.
In 2005 and 2007, the team was relegated in the first round but managed to reach the semifinals in 2006 and 2011.
The 2016 travelling squad is headed by Coach Gerald Phiri assisted by Enos Chatama and Grifin Saenda Junior.
Captain of the side is experienced Mike Mkwate who along along side Kondwani Mwaila plays in the top flight league.
The travelling squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Christopher Makuwa and Andison Mapira.
Defenders: Kennedy Kachimanga, Harry Kasamba, Nickson Nyasulu, Precious Sambani and Hadji Wadi.
Midfielder. Peter Banda, Konzani Chitsa, Azriel Johnson, Mike Mkwate, Francisco Madinga, Kondwani Mwaila, Chimwemwe Idana and Mphatso Magaleta.
Strikers: Ronald Pangani, Frank Chizuze, Yafet Mangani and Abel Mwakilama.
Head Coach: Gerald Phiri
Assistant Coach: Enos Chatama
Team Manager: Griffin Saenda Junior
Leader of delegation: Othaniel Hara.