Malawi national football team (Flames) coach Kinnah Phiri has stressed that he expects senior players who have been recalled in the squad that is expected to go into camp this evening, to battle for places with the local players.
The Flames are slated to go into camp this evening in preparation for the May 9 international friendly match against China following governmentâ€™s decision to approve the trip.
Football Association of Malawi on Thursday announced a 25-member squad that includes four senior players that have been recalled after missing the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Chadâ€™s Sao earlier this year.
Discarded winger Fischer â€˜Anongâ€™aâ€™ Kondowe who last earned a call-up in October, has been recalled, so too defender Elvis Kafoteka and strikers Russell Mwafulirwa and Esau Kanyenda who are clubless.
Kinnah warned he will not be seduced by lofty reputations stating that a place in the national team needs to be deserved through behaviour, play and attitude.
“It will not be a stroll in the park for them. I expect them to fight for places with the local-based players.
“Their inclusion will not be automatic,” said Kinnah who sounded as though he were making an offer the senior players would refuse at their peril.
Fischer on Thursday expressed gratitude to Kinnah for giving him another chance.
The last time Fischer earned a Flames call-up was in October last year and failed to make the final squad that travelled to Chad for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations decisive qualifier.
The last time he played for the Flames was in 2010 against Botswanaâ€™s Zebras and since then a section of fans has been urging for his recall.
“I cannot say much. I just want to thank the coach for giving me another chance and I will grab it with both hands.
“I want to prove that I am not yet finished,” said Fischer.
Meanwhile Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said any player who reports for Flames camp training later than 5pm today will be sent back home.
FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale said apart from Limbikani Mzava and Mwafulirwa, who are yet to arrive from South Africa, the rest are expected to report at Chiwembe Technical Centre at 5pm.
“We have finally received clearance from government and the team will go into camp tomorrow [Friday] and as one way of instilling discipline, we expect the players to report by the stipulated time [5pm] as they are supposed to attend an important meeting, failing which, they will be sent back home,” Jangale said.
Former Youth Development and Sports Minister Symon Vuwa-Kaunda also confirmed that governmentâ€™s approval.
“Her Excellency the State President Madam Joyce Banda has given her seal of approval and the team will go into camp on Friday.
“We are grateful to H.E because she has demonstrated her willingness to develop sports,” Vuwa-Kaunda said before he was dismissed as minister on Thursday.
Some of the new faces that have been called up are defender George Nyirenda (Big Bullets) and strikers Innocent Bokosi (Blue Eagles) and Gabadinho Mhango (Bullets).
Other new faces include players that have graduated from the Junior Flames such as Francis Mulimbika, Bongani Kaipa (Mighty Wanderers) and Harvey Mkacha (Silver Strikers).
The full squad is as follows: Goalkeepers: Charles Swini, Amadou Ali, Vincent Gona; Defenders: Foster Namwela, Pilira Makupe, Nyirenda, Mzava, Mulimbika, Kafoteka, Kaipa; Midfielders: Ndaziona Chatsalira, Joseph Kamwendo, Steve Chagoma, Henry Kabichi, Mkacha, Frank Banda, John Banda, Fischer, Chimango Kaira; Strikers: Bokosi, Ishmael Thindwa, Rodrick Gonani, Mhango, Russell and Kanyenda.