United States-based midfielder Yamikani Chester’s arrival on Tuesday virtually completed the Flames’ arsenal for tomorrow’s dead rubber 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Morocco’s Atlas Lions.
Team manager James Sangala yesterday said they have now intensified preparations for the match slated for Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
“With Chester’s arrival, we now have a full squad,” he said.
The other five foreign-based players, namely Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango, Gerald Phiri Jnr, John ‘CJ’ Banda, Stain Dave and Binwell Katinji arrived on Sunday.
Sangala also said defender Miracle Gabeya and goalkeeper Nenani Juwaya are out due to injuries and that the latter has since been replaced by fellow Be Forward Wanderers goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa
Meanwhile, Flames assistant coach Peter Mponda, who is in-charge of the team in the absence of head coach Ronny van Geneugden who is with the Under-23, says he is happy with the players’ commitment.
“I have told them this is the moment to get what we deserve. I would say so far so good though others are yet to show the enthusiasm expected of them. But we are getting there,” he said.
On the players’ physical condition considering that they are coming from off-season, the former Flames captain said: “Not that bad, but it can get better.”
Meanwhile the Atlas Lions are expected to jet in the country this morning through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe by a chartered plane, according to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka.