MZUZU--When Flames coach Kinnah Phiri names his final squad this Saturday which is expected to fly to Beijing, China on Sunday for a friendly strength-testing match against that country’s Under-23 national team, two names of veteran players will certainly not be there—those of ‘bad boy’ winger Fischer Kondowe and vice captain Elvis Kafoteka, MaraPost Sports can reveal.
At the time of writing this report, Kinnah had not yet named the squad, but he confided that the two veterans were certainly not in his China-bound contingent, which is mainly made up of young blood with only Joseph Kamwendo and clubless Esau Kanyenda as the only old guard veterans.
Kinnah said on Friday Kondowe and Kafoteka had been dropped to give a chance to the young players whom he wants to give the much needed exposure as he builds a Flames team for the future to replace the ageing players.
It is expected that Malawi will send to China a 35-strong delegation with the host government footing part of the air travel expenses.
While the China trip is important for the Flames as they prepare for the crucial forthcoming 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 World Cup qualifiers, some soccer pundits view it as a waste of time and money since the team is going to play against a lowly side and not that country’s senior side.
Nation Publications sports analyst Peter Kanjere believes the money the Flames will blow on the China trip’s air travel could have been enough to travel to Zambia for a worthwhile friendly match.
On the other hand, Malawi News columnist Pilirani Kachinziri observes that it could be catastrophic for the Flames to prepare for the forthcoming matches with China since the Chinese style of play cannot benefit Malawi.
But Flames coach Kinnah insists that his youthful charges will stand to benefit from the trip all the same.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment