Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has given itself a fresh deadline to have a national team coach in place by next month.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu was responding to a question on whether the association was making progress on the plan to hire an expatriate coach in time ahead of the 2018 Championship of African Nations (Chan) and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The Chan qualifiers are expected to start in April while those of Afcon will kick off in June this year.
“Our deadline is February and we will be seeking a resolution before then and recruiting a national coach by then,” he said.
Flames captain Limbikani Mzava has said it is imperative that FAM should engage a coach in good time to allow him ample time to assess the players and prepare for the tournaments.
“The timing of hiring a coach will be crucial, otherwise we will continue to be armchair viewers of the continental tournaments.
“Considering government bureaucracy, I believe FAM does not have much time to finalise the process. It could take longer than anticipated and in the long run, affect our preparations,” he said from his Durban base in South Africa on Sunday.
FAM recently met officials from the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and Malawi National Council of Sports where they made a presentation to justify their decision to hire an expatriate by, among other things, outlining the expected tasks.
According to documents which The Nation has seen, FAM wants to offer the expatriate a four-year contract subject to renewal.
FAM also wants the next coach to be an expert capable of overhauling the country’s football philosophy and introducing a long-term development plan and philosophy which other future coaches can emulate on.
It further states that FAM seeks to change the position of the coach to be modelled on the position of manager while also ensuring the recruitment of the next manager is stringent.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed the development, saying: “We want someone whose duties are more than that of a coach. We want someone who can create a blue print or philosophy that can work locally.
“We don’t just need an expatriate, but someone who can transform the way football is played. We want a complete new setup. We engaged government and they made some recommendations.”
The ministry, through its director of sports Jameson Ndalama, confirmed meeting FAM officials.
“We had a meeting recently where a number of issues were discussed including the proposal to employ an expatriate coach. It was a whole new idea and in contrast with what they had requested earlier and their plan of focus.
“The description they gave us on the responsibilities were not in the job description of an expatriate coach so we told them to write a new proposal,” said Ndalama.
Gunda said they have already worked on recommendations as suggested by government and will present them during another meeting scheduled for this week.
FAM has offered to meet