The local football fraternity has paid tribute to German coach Manfred Hoener who is credited as having shaped the Malawi football in late 1990s.
The former FAM technical director, 79, died on March 6 of heart failure, according to German-based former Flames striker Dan Chitsulo.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said Hoener’s death was a big loss to Malawi football.
He said: “Manfred Hoener’s death is such devastating news to the country’s FA and the entire football fraternity. While serving as Junior Flames Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 technical director, he contributed beyond measure to Malawi’s football development.
“Manfred selflessly used his personal resources in his quest to see the game grow. He single-handedly took the junior Flames to Europe where they participated in the prestigious international tournaments.”
Nyamilandu said most of the players that made up the Flames squad that qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations were products of Hoener’s talent identification.
He said: “I’m a product of Manfred Hoener, so are the likes of Esau Kanyenda, Peter Mponda, Chikondi Banda, James Chimera Jnr, Fischer Kondowe, Andrew Chikhosi, Robert Baggio Ng’ambi, Dan Chitsulo, Amos Jere, Alick Kusapali, and Gift Zakazaka, just to mention but a few.
“Most of these players ended up playing overseas or in South Africa and were instrumental to the Flames qualification at the 2010 Afcon final. Manfred will sadly be missed by the country’s football fraternity not just as a coach but also as a highly regarded true friend to Malawian football.”
In 1997 Manfred Horner took under-18 national team for a European tour where they won the Dana Cup in Denmark and finished third in the Gonthia Cup in Sweden.
He also led the Malawi Under 20 national team to a bronze at the Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship in Botswana.
Also under his stewardship, Malawi Under-20 national team qualified for 1999 Ghana Africa Cup of Nations.
Former Flames captain Peter Mponda, who was part of the Dana Cup winning team, also paid tribute to Hoener.
He said: “Most of the players who played in those 2010 qualifiers like myself. He instilled that dream and mentality that made us develop into that formidable side. He demanded a lot on the pitch while outside he was a father figure.”