Malawiâ€™s chances of reclaiming their Zone VI kingship face a tough test as they are drawn in a tough Group B of this yearâ€™s championship to be staged in Lusaka, Zambia from December 7-16.
This yearâ€™s competition, which will be competed by Under-17 teams from 10 countries, has seen Malawi being lined up alongside hosts Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and the Seychelles in group A.
The other group has defending champions Angola, Namibia, Swaziland, Mauritius and Lesotho.
Two top teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals. The football games will be hosted at Nkoloma and Zanaco Sunset stadiums.
Malawi assistant coach Gerald Phiri said the draw is not that bad.
â€œMuch as we are facing the tournamentâ€™s favourites Zambia, South Africa and Botswana, I think there is nothing to worry about. We will play four games, which will give us a chance to do well,â€ said Phiri.
Malawi won the championship in 2008, but failed to defend it in 2010 when they were eliminated in the group stages
The Junior Flames started camping on Sunday and have retained most of the players who played in the CAF tournament.
Initially, the tournament was supposed to be for Under-20 teams, but Cosafa and Zone VI struck a deal to make the football event for the Under-17.
Malawi open their campaign with South Africa on December 7. They will play the Seychelles two days later before facing Botswana on December 10 and Zambia two days later.
The following is Malawiâ€™s full squad in camp at Chiwembe Technical Centre: Dalitso Makunganya, Kennedy Nyirenda, Kenne Kaunda, Taonga Jere, Boston Kabango, Cliff Bololo, Juma Kaipa, Abraham Kamwendo, Gibson Kaluwa, Anthony Kaipa, Brian Phiri, Peter Chembezi, Lessman Singini, Ernest Tambe, Thokozani Harrison, Festus Chikwezga, Albert Mpinganjira, Vincent Chavi, Wongani Kuchisanja, Binwell Katinji and Khumbo Ngâ€™ambi.