Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has defended Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) and his assistant Peter Mponda’s involvement in junior national teams.
FAM’s reaction comes in the wake of protests by some fans on the involvement of the two coaches in the technical panel during the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Botswana’s Dream Team.
Some football analysts also questioned the duo’s inclusion, saying they were imposing themselves to get a share of the success.
In response to a questionnaire, the association’s general secretary Alfred Gunda stated that: “The Malawi national teams’ technical panels, as proposed by the technical committee and approved by the executive committee are working as a unit with Ronny van Geneugden as the overseer of all national teams.”
“This is the best practice being followed elsewhere by the top national teams in the world such as Uruguay, South Africa, Spain, Brazil and Germany) in a quest to achieve synergies and excellence in rebuilding of national teams.”
Reads part of the response: “By having this structure, we are guaranteed of proper monitoring of players , follow up and transition of players as evidenced by how a number of players have graduated from the Under 17 to the Under-20 and Under-23 while some from the Under-20 squad are featuring in the senior team within the past one year.”
The association stated that some of the new players that have been drafted into the senior team through this process are Precious Sambani, Levison Maganizo, Charles Petro, Hadji Wali, Peter Banda.
FAM further claims that RVG and Mponda have been extensively involved in the selection process and training of the Under-23 team from first day when Meke and Bob were tied up with club commitments.
“All things being equal, if there was no clash of assignments with the senior team’s trip to Comoros, RVG and Mponda would have travelled with the Under-23 team to Botswana,” the response further reads.
“It has never been the intention of RVG to stay on the bench of the youth technical panels forever. This is primarily being done to mentor the coaches during football matches until such a time that the coaches have gained sufficient experience to work independently.”
On whether the involvement of RVG and Mponda was pre-arranged, Under-23 coach Meke Mwase said: Yes, they have been part of the set-up all along. We have been working together as a team and there have been no problems.” n