Flames coach Meck Mwase has defended debutant Andrew Maliselo’s brief appearance during Sunday’s goalless international friendly against Zimbabwe at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.
The Kenya-based Gor Mahia FC forward only featured for under three minutes in time added on after being flown in from Nairobi on Friday.
But in an interview yesterday, the Flames gaffer said he did not want to rush Maliselo because this was only his first time to be drafted into the Flames’ squad.
He said: “Of course, people might be asking that why call a player separately from Kanya only to feature him for a few minutes. But it has to be understood that he is still a rookie who is learning the ropes at that level.
“Prior to the Zimbabwe match, he had only made a few appearances for the Under-20 national team. So, his transition has to be gradual.
“He is a promising player with a bright future ahead of him, but he is still learning.”
Mwase also said no player is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up no matter the circumstances.
“There are a number of factors that we look at for the benefit of both the player and the team,” he said.
On his part, Maliselo said he understood the coach’s decision.
He said: “It was my first time to be with the senior national team. So, I guess I have to take one step at a time. “I am certain that my time will come, just making my debut was an honour and I will work even harder to break into the team.”