Flames coach Meck Mwase has made history as the team’s only coach who has managed to qualify for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals within a year.
So emotional was the coach that he shed tears of joy on Monday after Malawi’s 1-0 victory over Uganda at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
While his predecessors were spoiled by contracts running over a year, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) gave the former Kasungu-based TN Stars coach just a year to take the Flames to the Afcon finals and he did it to perfection.
His contract expired in January and was only given the task of finishing the campaign after the qualifiers were delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Mwase now stands tall as one of the three coaches in the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) bloc to go to the Afcon finals.
Malawi became the 19th team to qualify, joining Zimbabwe, Comoros from the Cosafa region while South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique have missed out.
In a post-match interview, the Flames gaffer said: “This was my last game. I have done my job. They gave me a year and I did what they asked me to do.”
On whether the talk on his contract affected him, Mwase said he decided to concentrate on his job and let the future sort itself out.
“I put everything in the hands of God. Now it’s up to my bosses to decide,” he said.
But after Monday’s qualification, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the coach has earned himself a long-term deal.
He said: “The man is a hero. The last time we went to Afcon finals [in 2010] it was under a local coach Kinnah Phiri.
“We brought expatriate coaches, but they never delivered. It has taken Meck to achieve this feat within a year.”
Nyamilandu said he saw no reason why Mwase should not have his contract renewed on a long-term deal.
“We will be very stupid to let him go. He has earned his contract,” he said.