The merry-go-round continues. Goalkeeper trainer Phillip Nyasulu has become the first member of the Flames technical panel to face the chop from coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG).
The Belgian tactician has replaced the former Flames goalkeeper with Nyasa Big Bullets keepers’ mentor Swadick Sanudi.
Nyasulu was appointed by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) alongside Geneugden’s assistants Gerald Phiri, DeKlerk Msakakuona and team manager Peter Mponda.
Mponda has since been re-assigned as assistant trainer while former Flames defender James Sangala is now interim team manager.
Ironically, Nyasulu was also fired by RVG’s predecessor Ernest Mtawali in 2015 after the goalkeeper trainer was imposed on him by FAM.
Mtawali at that time gave a report on goalkeeping shortfalls as the reason behind his decision to fire Nyasulu and replaced him with Sanudi.
This followed the national team’s poor performance against Swaziland in which the Flames were held to a two-all draw which was blamed on ‘keeper Richard Chipuwa’s poor performance.
But after Mtawali’s firing, FAM reverted to Nyasulu when appointing Phiri and Msakakuona, only to get the boot by the expatriate coach after goalkeeping flaws resurfaced in Flames’ Championship of African Nations (Chan) 2-0 aggregate loss to Madagascar in the preliminary round.
Nyasulu could not be reached for comment on Tuesday
But RVG said he had taken on board Sanudi to exploit the former Flames goalkeeper’s qualification and experience in goalkeeping.
Sanudi has just returned from Cameroon where he underwent Confederation of African Football (CAF) goalkeeper trainers’ course, to become the only Malawian to have undergone such training.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said they were relieved that the coach had endorsed the majority of the backroom staff.
He said: “I gather the coach has opted for Sanudi to benefit from the goal-keeping training that he has been exposed to lately.”
The coach has also made some drastic changes to the squad by dropping most of the senior players that were picked to join Flames’ Chan campaign.
Nyamilandu said FAM does not interfere with the coach’s decisions although Nyasulu was imposed on the coach.
“RVG is head coach so he makes the calls on what is best for the team and FAM does not intervene. It is great that the coach has endorsed most of the coaches that we assigned to give him a head start,” he said.
Analyst Charles Nyirenda reiterated the need to let the coach pick his backroom staff.
“These are the things we stressed that a national team coach should be left to pick his entire backroom staff,” he said.