Flames coach Meke Mwase has called up six foreign-based players for the back-to-back 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Botswana’s Zebras.
The Zebras will host the Flames this Saturday in the first leg tie in Gaborone while the return leg is slated for Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre three days later.
They include two overseas-based players—midfielder Yamikani Chester who plies his trade in the US and Azerbaijan-based attacker Robin Ngalande.
According to team manager James Sangala, the others are South Africa-based trio—Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango, Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu—while Mozambique-based John ‘CJ’ Banda completes the list.
“Initially, they were supposed to be seven, but with the unavailability of captain LimbikaniMzava, we were left with six.
“But the coaches are also considering to call [Mozambique-based] striker ChawanangwaKawonga,” he said.
Mzava was ruled out as he is nursing a groin injury that will sideline him for almost six weeks.
Phiri and Mbulu, who play for Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Baroka FC, flew into the country yesterday.
Chester, Ngalande and Banda are expected to arrive today while Mhango will join the team in Gaborone.
Ngalande, who plays for Aberzaijan top-flight league side Zara FC, said he is excited to return to the national team.
“It is always an honour and privilege to represent the nation. Everytime I get called it feels like it’s the first time.
“So, the excitement, hunger desire that I have is as fresh as it used to be before.
“I look forward to giving the best I can and hopefully as a team I hope we will give our best. We also have a new coach, our very own. So, we need to support him by giving out our best,” he said.