Most coaches who were entrusted with coaching Malawi national team failed because of many factors but not necessary tactical deficiencies. The team needs a good tactician indeed but there is also need to give it adequate resources for it to tick.
Most times the Flames only play competitive matches, rarely do they take advantage of the Fifa calendar dates for friendlies because of lack of funding. And when they do try to do so, their sparring partners are not such high profile for the team’s coach to properly assess the players’ strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, the Flames usually fail to tame West and North African teams when they meet in competitive matches because we don’t play them regularly in friendlies.
Another factor is that our domestic league is not such highly competitive. The infrastructure is so poor and very few. Teams are forced to play two away games within 24 hours to cut on costs of travel and accommodation.
Our teams cannot afford to participate in Confederation of African Football (Caf) competitions, the Caf Champions League and the Confederation Cup. When they were in the Confederation of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa), our teams got the proper international competitive edge which filtered itself into the Flames.
Almost all countries play in Caf competitions, some countries feature two teams — one in each of the two tournaments. When we entered into these competitions, usually through Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers, they failed to reach group stages except for Bullets over a decade ago.
This all because the teams are not adequately sponsored while some are bank rolled by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF). Those who are sponsored sometimes finish their annual funding long before the season ends.
The teams rarely benefit from gate collections because of rampant fraud at the gates. Measures were done to rectify this problem but the system is so deep rooted all efforts failed.
All teams, except Silver Strikers and Civo United, don’t own stadia where they could have gained a lot to help them survive financially.
South Africa and Mozambique are the only countries currently tapping talent from Malawi but after just a while these players’ form dips such that they fail to earn game time at their clubs but they are still recalled for national duties at the expense of the local ones.
The Flames’ coaches are usually forced to call the players even if there are reports that they are not enjoying game time at their clubs.
There is not time to build international exposure to our players because of their inactiveness in Caf competitions. If somehow the government could offer to fund teams that qualify for these tournaments with the hope of being relieved later by willing corporate companies, it would help matters so much.
The teams’ administrators should also be innovative for them to generate extra bucks such as sale of replica jerseys, scarves and other merchandise. The problem is our football fans prefer to wear English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga team jerseys than supporting their own.
Violence and profanity at the venues also played a part in which decent people stopped going to watch local matches, preferring to watch EPL and La Liga matches on TVs at home and at pubs.
Welcome to some of these problems dogging Malawi football Mr. Coach, Ronny Van Geneogden. We do have very talented players and we will really appreciate your pledge to get them good deals in Europe.
They don’t really have to play in the top teams but as long as they are exposed to excellent football management would they become better players. Those that are in South Africa should be closely monitored of their performance and game time. They should be called into camp to please certain quarters but if they are indeed suitable for the coach’s plans.
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