Flames coach Meck Mwase has finally signed a fresh two-year contract almost five months after Football Association of Malawi (FAM) announced that it would offer him a fresh deal.
The deal has been sealed just in time when the Flames are about to kick-start their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu announced soon after the Flames sealed their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Cup (Afcon) qualification by beating Uganda’s Cranes on March 29 that Mwase would be offered a new deal.
In an interview yesterday, the Flames gaffer confirmed putting pen to paper, saying he will now fully focus on the task at hand.
He said: “It has taken a bit of time to conclude the negotiations, but it’s finally done.”
On whether he is happy with the terms, Mwase paused and said: “Of course, there are some nitty gritties, but I believe they will be looked into as we go along.
“The most important thing is the commitment to the job which I have done.”
The former Malawi national football team captain and Kasungu-based TN Stars coach disclosed that the new contract runs from April 2021 to March 2023.
Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Ali Kalichero also confirmed yesterday that Mwase’s contract has been finalised.
Government, through the ministry, approved the coach’s two-year contract in May following the expiry of his initial one-year deal.
Upon the ministry’s approval, it was sent to the Office of the President and Cabinet for endorsement.
Director of sports Jameson Ndalama is in record as having said the ministry had recommended that the coach should be sent for an advanced training abroad to prepare him for the 2021 Afcon finals slated for next January.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said the development is a sign of trust and the confidence that the coach will deliver in his new mandate.
He said: “We expect him to build a competitive team that will lead us in the World Cup qualifiers and the Afcon tournament.
“Without putting much pressure on the coach, we expect him to guide the Flames beyond the first round at the Afcon finals.”
Mwase became the third local coach to guide the Flames to the continental showpiece after the late Henry Chapasi Moyo (1984) and Kinnah Phiri (2010).
Ironically, only local coaches have led the Flames to the African safari qualification.