Flames coach Kinnah Phiri on Tuesday walked his talk about not taking passengers to Chad when he left out big name players and named only 10 foreign-based players for FlamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ next week 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier.
The development means the coach will for the first time take 10 local players for a Flames away competitive match. In the past he would take a maximum of three.
Kinnah warned last week that he would not take players that are injured or lack game time at club level. He said he would rather gamble by taking on board more local players.
The squad is without big-name players, among them, strikers Esau Kanyenda and Rusell Mwafulirwa, captain Peter Mponda, his deputy Elvis Kafoteka, Harry Nyirenda, Robert NgÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ambi, Jacob Ngwira, Swadick Sanudi, Victor Nyirenda and Jimmy Zakazaka.
Nyirenda and NgÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ambi are injured whereas Mponda is recovering from a knee injury he suffered three weeks ago. He might be given a late call up if he passes medical test.
Kanyenda was in camp with the local players until last Friday when he left for trials with Angolan side Kabuscorp Sport Clube in South Africa.
Kinnah said he has left out Kanyenda because he does not want to disturb his trials.
Mwafulirwa, who is reported to have joined South African side Jomo Cosmos, has been sidelined due to inactivity as he has been without a club since leaving his Swedish club IFK Norrkoping last September.
“For Mwafulirwa, I already said he is not in my plans whereas Kanyenda needs to be given space to sign a deal. For Victor [Nyirenda] and Kafoteka, I do not know where they are and what they are doing. The others have been left out because of injuries.
“Mponda may still be considered if he passes late medical test as he played for Santos Reserves.
“There has been a lot of talk about me clinging to old players so I want to try the youngsters. This is time for local-based players to show what they have and they will do a good job in Chad,” said Kinnah.
Kafoteka, who is attending trials in Thailand, said he communicated to FAM that he will not come due to visa complications.
But the surprise exclusion is that of South Africa-based striker Jimmy Zakazaka who is currently enjoying form as he is the second leading scorer in South AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s First National Division with six goals.
Kinnah has included in the squad defender Limbikani Mzava (Bloemfontein Celtic) and striker Chiukepo Msowoya who are yet to play official club football since last June and August respectively.
The other eight are Mozambique-based keeper Simplex Nthala, defenders Moses Chavula and James Sangala, midfielders Dave Banda, Peter Wadabwa, Tawonga Chimodzi and strikers Atusaye Nyondo and Spain-based Robin Ngalande.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said the coach and his backroom staff made enquiries on the players before coming up with the list.
He said the squad for the local players will be named on Friday and the team leaves for Chad on Sunday morning. The foreign-based players will fly directly to Chad from their respective bases.