The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has cleared Flames team manager Frank ‘Franco’ Ndawa to double as head coach for Azam Tigers.
The go-ahead comes after Azam Tigers chairperson Sydney Chikoti told The Nation on Wednesday that they have officially engaged the born-again Christian on a two-year contract, with former Big Bullets coach Meke Mwase as his deputy.
“As you know, the national team does not operate like a club. It is a calling to be considered for a job in the national team and we do not bar anyone to do other duties at club level. All what Ndawa needs to do is proper planning on his duties as Flames team manager and Tigers coach. We do not have any problem with that arrangement,” said Nyirenda.
He cited Ndawa’s predecessor Leo Mpulula and Moyale Barracks coach Nicholas Mhango as examples of coaches who combined Flames and club roles.
Mpulula, who decided not to renew his contract with Tigers, was the Under-17 national team coach while Mhango doubled as Under-20 team manager.
Ndawa told The Nation yesterday that he already talked about the issue with FAM before accepting Tigers’ offer.
Ndawa was Flames assistant coach to Kim Splidsboel in 2001.
The former Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers coach said he is yet to sign his contract with the Kau-Kau boys.
“As of now, I have a verbal contractual agreement with the club. They sent me a document concerning the deal through an e-mail and I am yet to sign it. I will do that within the week,” he said.
When asked how he plans to turn around the fortunes at Tigers, considering that he was recently fired at Wanderers and Silver Strikers following a string of poor results, Ndawa said it is only God who will guide him through the murky waters.
He, however, pleaded with Tigers, who completed the 15-team 2013/14 TNM Super League season on ninth position with 39 points, to give him the necessary tools needed for the team to do well next season.
“It is not through my powers that Tigers saw it fit to engage me as their coach. This is one of God’s wonders. He wants to prove to the world that I am not a failure. The problem with the other teams I coached was that they prefer to have coaches that once played for their teams,” he said.
On his part, Chikoti said Ndawa, who will officially start training the team mid-February, has always been an outstanding coach and they believe he is a suitable replacement for Mpulula, who coincidentally was also a born-again Christian.
“We scrutinised the CVs of the three short-listed coaches and we found Ndawa to be outstanding. We are happy to have him at our camp and we will give him all the support he needs,” Chikoti said.
Ndawa holds a European Union Football Association (Uefa) A-coaching licence he obtained in German in 2001.
He won Wanderers the BP Top 8, Carlsberg Cup and Presidential Cup. He also steered Red Lions to Embassy Trophy and Chombe Tea Cup in the 1990s.