Malawi Under-17 football coach John Kaputa has admitted that his panel has a tough task to drill the team ahead of the Africa Youth Championship as most players lack basic skills.
But he said by the time they play Botswana on September 8, in Lilongwe, the team will be in shape and will get results.
The Under-17 squad, which started full-time training yesterday, has drawn players from the FMB Under-20 leagues and schools. For the first time, there are no players from the Super League and regional leagues.
Kaputa said in an interview that lack of basic skills is the major setback to the players in camp, but said the players are talented.
â€œThey are not sharp enough in simple basic skills such as shooting, passing, ball control. This is a result of lack of proper coaching at the grass roots.
â€œBut that is why we are there as coaches to perfect the raw talent into international football material. So, from the programme we have drawn, the players should be in shape by the time we face Botswana,â€ he said.
Kaputaâ€™s programme will see the team train three times a day.
â€œWe will be having three two-hour training sessions a dayâ€”one early in the morning, sometime at 10am as well as one at 3pm,â€Â he said.
Kaputa looks set to reproduce the 2009 performance when he guided the Under-17 to the Africa Youth Championship finals in Algeria and the World Cup finals in Nigeria.
Malawi withdrew from the 2011 competition due to lack of funds.