Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Flames captain Limbikani Mzava have defended new technical director (TD) Marian Mario Marinica’s move to demand players’ reports for the past two 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
Marinica told The Nation in an interview at the weekend that he expects reports from the Flames coach and players, a development which sparked debate on social media platforms on whether it was necessary to demand reports from players as well.
But FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the reports will be an ideal platform for the TD to engage with the players.
He said: “Let’s embrace new ways of working and be open-minded because business as usual has derailed progress.
“This is what our players will be exposed to when they go and play professional football elsewhere.
“It is an opportunity for the players to engage with the TD and express themselves freely. Though some might face literacy challenges, it will enable the coach to identify the players that need special support.
“Football is all about communication on and off the field of play and our players should not shy away.”
South Africa-based Flames captain Limbikani Mzava also defended the move, saying it provides the TD an opportunity to know the players better.
The defender, who is the longest serving member of the squad, said: “Of course, it’s a new thing, especially for local players, but in some countries like here [South Africa], we are sometimes asked to submit reports.
“In a way, it will make the players grow and improve because there will be that interaction. After all, the national team plays periodically.
“What is crucial though is for the TD to come out clearly on how he wants the players to be preparing the reports and I will engage him on that.
“That said, I take it that it is a step in the right direction.”
Football analyst Kelvin Moyo said considering that the TD has limited time between now and the Africa Cup of Nations finals next January in Cameroon, it will help him get to know the players better technically.
He said: “It should not be an issue because it is one way of communicating. It is also not a big task for the players to be submitting reports because the national team plays a few games in a year.
“With time, the players will get used to it as long as it is explained clearly how they should go about it.”
The Romanian tactician was hired on a three-year contract and he will be part of Flames coach Meck Mwase’s advisory team.