Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana started their rough reigns as Flames head coach and deputy after being unveiled at the Chiwembe Technical Centre yesterday in a low-key ceremony of subdued emotions and remote hope.
In presiding over the unveiling the third set of Flames coaches within nine months, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu once again set qualifying for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco as the target, but fell short of guaranteeing resources to bring the success.
“We have confidence in the two coaches. The pair is the best we have to make Malawi a shining star. We have worked with them before. They know the players and the style of play. They are not starting from scratch. We expect they will continue from where they left,” Nyamilandu said as Chimodzi, Chamangwana, FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda quietly listened, hardly showing emotions.
Barely a year after being axed as an assistant to Kinnah Phiri, Chimodzi replaces Belgian Tom Saintfiet whose tenure ended last September.
Chimodzi has been recalled from regional football development officer post while Chamangwana had served as Flames technical adviser in the Kinnah panel.
Nyamilandu said Chimodzi and Chamangwana, who have been hired on secondment on their government contracts ending this June, “had agreed to forget the past because the parting last time wasn’t on good terms.”
“I don’t want to lie that they are coming on a bed of roses. We make do with meagre resources we have. At the moment, it looks very bleak as funding was exhausted and we have been told it is very unlikely there will be funding between now and the next financial year,” the FAM boss admitted when asked for assurance of Flames funding.
The 2015 qualifiers for the Nations Cup start this April and, in Nyamilandu’s words, there is some government assurances for funding in the qualifiers, but for the warm-up matches, the broke FAM will have to fend for itself.
Taking his turn, Chimodzi who once headed Flames’ caretaker three-member technical panel comprising Nsanzwirimo Ramadhan and Yasin Osman before serving as assistants to Kim Splidsboel and Kinnah, said he was a man of few words.
“I am not a good public speaker, but I must admit we had to think twice before accepting the offer. You know what happened. This is our national team. We had to accept that in football, you get hired and fired. We are not promising the moon, but we believe we can take the team some mile,” said the former national team captain.