Despite getting much lower perks than those of expatriate coaches, statistics have revealed that local coaches have a much better record. They have generally performed better than expatriates—some of whom set worst records during their tenure, Weekend Nation has established.
Statistics sourced from the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) database show that 14 coaches managed the Flames from 1999 to April 2019 of whom four were expatriate and three of them left behind worst records.
Immediate past coach Ronny van Geneugden holds the worst record.
He managed 21 games, securing two wins, eight losses and 11 draws.
The Belgian’s three-year contract expired in April. FAM, who decided against renewing it, hired Meke Mwase, who has already surpassed his record in just six matches.
English coach Alan Gillet holds the second worst record.
He was in charge in 2003 . Out of the 14 games he was in charge of the Flames he won two, drew five and lost seven.
Gillet lost 50 percent of the games he managed.
Another English coach Steve Constantine lost 60 percent of th games he was in charge of.
He managed the Flames between 2008 and 2009.
In 20 matches he won three, lost six and drew one.
Danish Kim Splidsboel, who coaches the Flames between 2001 and 2002, has the best record having achieved 50 percent of the 20 matches he was in charge of. He won 10, drew two and lost eight out of 20.
Former Malawi striker Kinnah Phiri, the longest serving coach, comes second with a 32 percent win rate. He managed 78 games winning 25, drawing 23 and losing 30 in his two spells.
In 34 years, he is the only coach to have guided Malawi to the Africa Cup of Nations finals before his successors, the triumvirate of Young Chimodzi, Yasin Osman and Nsazwurimo Ramadan won Malawi the Cosafa Plate in 2015.
In an interview, Phiri said his success was a clear indication that local coaches have the potential to attain great achievements if they are supported.
The Flames legend said local coaches sometimes fail to deliver because they are demotivated.
“They are given very low perks. If we can give them at least half of the benefits of an expatriate, I am sure we can motivate them,” Phiri said.
Another Malawi legend Ernest Mtawali with 31 percent win rate, is third on the list of best coaches.
He won five games, drew four and lost six during his year-long tenure from 2015 to 2016.
Commenting on the issue, National Football Coaches Association general secretary Dave Mpima said there is no need to employ a foreigner and that if anything, the technical director should be an expatriate.
“The local coaches have generally been doing well. What we are lacking is someone who can shape the technical aspect of the whole football spectrum. This is why I am advocating for the technical director to be an expatriate or someone with vast football knowledge and qualifications,” he said.
Reacting to the calls, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda acknowledged that the expatriates have not performed to the expectations of Malawians.
He, however, defended the foreigners’ appointment, saying it is usually a result of local coaches failing to meet requirements at a particular time.
“I think what we choose to ignore is the fact that at every point of deciding a course of action there is an evaluation that sets the direction,” Gunda said.
“You would also agree that [during RVG appointment] our game needed an expert looking at what we had [the available local coaches].”