he Malawi National Coaches Committee (MNCC) has endorsed the ‘hiring’ of Big Bullets coach Eddington Ng’onamo as Flames stand-in coach, but queried specialised goalkeeper trainer’s exclusion on the panel.
MNCC chairperson John Kaputa on Thursday said Football Association of Malawi (FAM) consulted them on the choice of the caretakers whose mandate runs up to September this year.
Ng’onamo, his assistants Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi are yet to officially accept the offers.
“We proposed names of coaches to FAM and they have not taken anyone outside the list. Our list included a goalkeeper trainer, but they have not picked anybody. That is another important specialised position. We will raise this with FAM,” said Kaputa while pledging players’ selection support to Ng’onamo.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda admitted that the need for a keeper trainer was raised by the coaches, “but we will come back to you on that issue.”
Ng’onamo, Mabedi and Mtawali, replace relocated Kinnah Phiri, Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana respectively.
Sports director in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Jameson Ndalama said FAM informed government on the intention to hire caretaker coaches and “we know the situation with previous coaches.”
Ng’onamo could not be reached for comment.
Football expert Ben Chiwaya hailed Ng’onamo’s appointment, adding: “Mtawali and Mabedi have played football at the highest level, but on their coaching experience, let others comment.”
Meanwhile, our senior sports news analyst Garry Chirwa reports from South Africa that Mtawali and Mabedi have played down suggestions from some quarters that they are not ready for the challenge.
The two said they had confirmed their willingness to take up the tasks having been contacted by FAM president Walter Nyamilandu and his first deputy Moses Mkandawire.
“Every journey starts with a single step. I believe both Patrick and I are ready for Flames roles,” said Mtawali.
Mtawali and Mabedi also said they are ready to work under Ng’onamo.
“I have so much respect for him as a tactician and I do not see why it should be a problem working with him. If anything, we stand to learn a lot working under him,” said Mtawali.
He said he already spoke with Mamelodi Sundowns management and they are willing to come up with a special arrangement on his engagement with the Flames.
Mabedi said having been part of South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Moroka Swallows’ coaching panel and having been attached to the Flames technical panel two years ago, he feels he has gained the required experience to be part of the Flames coaching panel.
But the former Flames captain said he can only take up the position depending on the offer that FAM will put forward.