Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) says he is not bitter that the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) did not extend his contract.
The Belgian tactician also says he has no regrets over his two-year romance with the national football team which saw him registering only two wins in 21 matches.
“Look, it’s normal not to have one’s contract renewed. In such kind of situation, you expect either to be maintained or not.
“I am not bitter at all and life goes on. It was, for me, a wonderful two years. I met some good people, coaches and players,” said the coach in an interview on Saturday, his voice sounding ice-cool.
RVG said people might have different views about his tenure, but he is happy with the foundation he has put in place.
“I believe that I set up a good foundation for the future. My main task was about developing the standards. I have [also] assembled a team of small potatoes for the future who showed during the 2019 Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] qualifiers that they have great potential by holding African giants African Cameroon and Morocco.
“I [also] developed about 10 coaches and I am happy that some of them, in particular Meke Mwase, have been maintained in the coaching panel and I am pleading with all the stakeholders to give them the necessary support and not to destroy or frustrate them,” he said.
The coach said had he stayed on, he would have switched focus to developing players in Under-12 and Under-14 age groups.
“This is one key area in which we are not in the right direction.”
However, RVG feels there was an awful lot of expectation from some people within the football fraternity.
“As I said earlier on, laying down the structures and building a team is not an overnight exercise and there were still some people who expected us to beat Brazil, Argentina, Cameroon or Morocco within that period of transformation which was, to me, unrealistic,” said RVG who has since been replaced by Mwase in an interim capacity.
Reacting to RVG’s sentiments, football analyst Charles Nyirenda said: “First, we must thank him for his efforts. His task was not impossible because he got sufficient support from a fairly patient citizenry.
“As regards to building a team, that has to be contentious because what we saw was hat the same players tended to appear at three levels: Under-20, Under-23 and senior team. Second, the majority at some point came from clubs that were not doing well in the league, but seemed to have connections with coaches from their respective clubs who were also serving as ides for the coach.
“He also overstretched himself and looked like the trainer of all national teams. His divided loyalty meant that he hardly focused on anything.”
Meanwhile, Mwase yesterday said he will continue from where RVG left.
“I thank FAM for entrusting me with the task. It is a big challenge, but I believe that with the support of all the stakeholders, we will succeed.”
Mwase will be assisted by Lovemore Fazili while Bob Mpinganjira will be the fitness trainer.
FAM executive committee on Saturday resolved to adopt the recommendation of the technical sub-committee not to renew RVG’s contract based on the Flames’ poor results. n