Flames coach Ernest Mtawali on Thursday avoided another club verses country clash by releasing national team players to feature their Super League clubs in this weekend fixtures.
With just two days before teams like Mighty Wanderers, Big Bullets, Blue Eagles and Silver Strikers play crucial league games, the coach moved in fast to allow the players leave camp and join their clubs.
The development came after Super League of Malawi (Sulom) put its foot down that it would not change fixtures to accommodate the Flames assignments.
Blue Eagles assistant coach Wilson Chidati applauded the coach’s decision to release their players Schumacher Kuwali and midfielder John Banda.
“We were in total darkness on the availability of the players. But now we are very pleased with the decision,” Chidati said.
“We need to win both games if we are to remain in contention for the title. So the coming in of the two will help us a lot,” Chidati said.
Dedza Young Soccer Saints coach Milias Jegwe Pofera said the decision was a big boost to their fight against relegation since they would have their outstanding defender Chisomo Mpachika when playing Eagles.
“We are extremely pleased with the Flames decision to release the players.”
The coach’s decision has eased long-standing feud between clubs and the national team technical panel which previously had been refusing to free players to fulfil club duties.
Flames, dominated by local players, started camping on Tuesday in preparation for this year’s edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup to be held in Ethiopia from November 21 to December 6.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Flames team manager Clement Kafwafwa said they decided to release the player because they will have enough time to recover before they leave for the tournament.
“We have almost a week before we leave so we are optimistic that the engaged players will return to camp in good time and have time to recover from game fatigue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the team manager has said the foreign-based players will remain in camp where they will undergo specially designed training.
“Some foreign-players joined us a few days after the locals went into camp. These players will remain in camp so we can improve their fitness,” he said.
The foreign legion of Flames players yet to join camp included South Africa based striker Gerald Phiri Junior and Mozambique based duo of goalkeeper Simplex Nthala and midfielder Chimango Kayira. n