Weighty decisions await Flames coach Young Chimodzi as he pieces together players that would be worth the honour of shouldering the nation’s yoke of expectations in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying battles from this April.
Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana are scouting for players that can challenge foreign based players, scattered in Mozambique and South Africa, for the Flames’ much-envied positions. Expect a dog fight.
Once the wheat is sieved from the chuff, all decisions will lead to the precious starting XI. With the likes of Atusaye Nyondo, Robin Ngalande, Ishmael Thindwa, Gastin Simkonda, Esau Kanyenda and Gabadinho Mhango in the right frame of shapes, Chimodzi will have a starting point upfront.
Like a good chef, at that stage, it would now be a matter of Chimodzi getting the right chemistry and balance that can cow opposition strikers into submission.
Chimodzi, probably over a cup of coffee with Chamangwana, would then turn to the midfield combinations with several names such as Robert Ng’ambi, Chimango Kaira and Joseph Kamwendo thrown in the hat to provide creativity and experience. No need for pain-killers whatsoever!
Then the reverse gear would lead to the defence; a foundation that is crucial to team. Then Chimodzi would face very difficult decisions on the bedrock that would anchor the defence.
From the squad of 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, only Harry Nyirenda and Moses Chavula are playing at the highest club level with Maupo Msowoya, Elvis Kafoteka, Peter Mponda and James Sangala having either called it time or seeing off the last days.
With Mponda having unofficially retired and Sangala following suit, the shortsightedness of the previous coaches is exposed: And because every badly managed team transition has consequences, difficult decisions will confront Chimodzi. Chavula still has the legs to plug the left back hole, Nyirenda can fit in the number four role but who can play sweeper?
Not every defender can play sweeper at that highest level. The number five role demands loads of experience, leadership qualities, an ability to read the game and organizational skill.You have a difficult decision Mr. Chimodzi.