Junior Flames coach Meke Mwase will use personal experience to deal with Swaziland during the first-leg of the 2019 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Qualifier at Bingu National Stadium (BNS) in Lilongwe this Saturday.
With no video clips to analyse the strength and weaknesses of their opponents, it is difficult to unlock opponents, but Mwase told The Nation yesterday his personal experience with Swaziland football system over a year ago when he coached that country’s top league club Mbabane Highlanders.
“My personal experience with the Swaziland football set-up will be ideal for our bid to win our first game this Saturday,” said Mwase, who close to winning the 2015 Swaziland League title with Highlanders in his debut season.
“I once coached in Swaziland and I know what to expect from them ahead of our meeting. The absence of video clips as regards the tactical prowess of our opponents will not affect us.”
Meanwhile, the Malawi Under-20 national football team has relocated its camping from Blantyre to Lilongwe in readiness for the imminent showdown, which will precede a second leg encounter in Swaziland on April 21.
Mwase, who has steered Kasungu-based TN Stars to TNM Super League promotion, said they have travelled with all the 22 players and they will name a final squad tomorrow.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical director John Kaputa yesterday said the Junior Flames are physically and tactically ready for the match.
“I have observed that the team has made tremendous improvements in all departments during the camping period in Blantyre and I am confident that we will beat Swaziland this weekend,” he said.
Winners of the two-legged tie are expected to face Angola in the second round.
Junior Flames beat Swaziland 3-2 in the opener of the 2017 Cosafa Under-20 Cup before drawing 0-0 and 2-2 with Zambia and Uganda, respectively, to fail to cross the group stage due to an inferior goal difference against guest participants Uganda.
Malawi Under-20, which made it into Afcon finals in 1999, last participated in the continental competition in 2013. Then, they came within a sniffing distance of qualification but were booted out by Zambia. n