Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has rolled out the much-awaited national academy, giving hope to the improvement of the Flames’ performance through the nurturing of future stars.FAM technical director (TD) John Kaputa confirmed the establishment of the academy on a pilot phase in Blantyre.
He said it will be extended to the cities of Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba in 2019.
“We have started the project with 40 children aged below the age 15 from Misesa, Kanjedza, Limbe and Kapeni primary schools in Blantyre. These schools are within the Mpira Village catchment area,” he said.“However, in the meantime, we are operating from the Chilomoni Stadium as the Mpira Stadium is undergoing some renovations. Every Friday and Saturday, we pick the children by bus for the training sessions in Chilomoni.
This is the beginning but there will be time early 2019 when we will launch the project.” He added that the children were identified through the grassroots football activities they had been conducting recently involving the four schools.
He said, going forward, the talents will be spotted in similar style in the other cities.Currently, FAM through the office of the TD has put in place a panel of coaches led by Abel Mkandawire, who are shaping the boys in readiness for the full-scale start of the academy next year. Mkandawire is being assisted by Sherry Msuku, Silas Liwindo and Clement Kafwafwa.
“The boys have so far had three training sessions and the last one was on Friday 14th December 2018,” FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said.
“FAM executive committee approved, during a fourth quarterly meeting on November 10 2018, the launch of this first ever FAM academy.
”When asked how much has been injected into the project and how assured is its sustainability considering that a national football academy requires a huge amount of money, Gunda yesterday said: “More details on the budget and plan on sustainability will be explained in detail at the official launch in January.
”The academy is run with some financial support from Fifa.Mkandawire could not be reached for comment yesterday but Msuku confirmed their coaching roles in the academy.FAM president Walter Nyamilandu told The Nation recently that Fifa accepted the academy project and they received “technical guidance on its formulation as well as technical support for implementation”.
The national football academy is said to be the only solution to the national football team’s poor performance through the nurturing of talent.