Local coaches have expressed interest in the Flames coaching job as Football Association of Malawi (FAM) meets in three days in search of a new coach.
Current coach Ernest Mtawali’s contract expires this month and FAM already decided not to renew it due to poor performance and so far over 20 expatriates have applied for the job.
Lawrence Waya, Yasin Osman, Eddington Ng’onamo and Gilbert Chirwa are some of the locals who have openly shown interest.
They join incoming interim Burundian coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan against the background that government already said it does not have money for an expatriate.
Waya, who claims to have a CAF B licence, said he is the answer to Malawi football and that he would apply for the job.
“I have been looking forward to the chance of coaching Malawi. Given a chance, I will accept it wholeheartedly. I am ready for the responsibility. It’s long overdue,” the former Bata Bullets striker said.
Asked what he had to offer Malawi football, Waya said his experience as a player and coach is good enough to turn around the Flames’ fortune.
“The problem in general is that we destroyed the structures of development of young players. These contribute a lot in nurturing talent. Without a sound youth development programme, it is difficult to have a strong national team.
“I am currently in South Africa where, among other things, I am also mobilising funds for my academy,” said Waya, who was nicknamed ‘Teacher’ in his hey days.
On his part, Osman who coached the Flames in an interim basis before, said: “I have what it takes to coach the national team owing to my vast experience and knowledge. In fact, I stand to be corrected, but I think I am the most experienced coach at the moment.
“I have also never been employed by FAM on a permanent basis. I have always come in on fire-fighting situations, so to judge me based on that, would be unfair.”
Ng’onamo, who was interim coach after the firing of Kinnah Phiri, said he was ready to fix the national team.
“I have already been engaged to fix things when they go bad and I am good at it. I have vast experience both at local and international level, that can help the Flames. The results are there to see,” he said.
However, the Be Forward Wanderers coach said he would not apply for the job.
“FAM has my CV. I do not see any reason why I should apply again. Let the foreign coaches apply because FAM doesn’t know their qualifications. By the way, I am the only local coach with Uefa A licence. I was one of the coaches that applied and attended interviews when FAM was employing the former coach [Mtawali]. But with due respect to other coaches, I feel I did not fail that interview.”
Kinnah, who led the Flames to qualify for 2010 Africa Cup of Nations after 26 years, also said he would be interested to return if FAM needs his services, saying: “This is my country and I would seriously consider that.”
On his part, Gilbert Chirwa, who was also among the interviewees when Mtawali was picked, said: “Should the job be advertised, I will definitely apply, I am ready.
“I have enough experience having worked with some expatriates such as Alain Gillett and Kim Splidsboel and sometimes I wonder why some of us are not given a chance. Maybe there are some people who don’t want us there.”
But FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda encouraged the coaches to apply for the job.
“People know that there is a vacancy. Of course, we will release the vacancy in the papers, but there is no harm applying now.”