- Offered Flames job on full-time basis
This is it! FAM executive committee has offered Flames interim coach Meke Mwase a one-year permanent deal following a meeting which took place in Blantyre on Saturday.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said the appointment is with effect from July 1.
“The appointment of Meke was arrived at having noted that he successfully coached the Flames at the just-ended Cosafa Cup tournament in [Durban], South Africa where the team performed extremely well,” he said.
The FAM president also said a meeting, which the association had with the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and Malawi National Council of Sports the previous day (Friday), resolved that government should recruit three coaches for the senior, Under-20 and Under-17 national teams on a full-time basis.
“During this period, Meke will have to enter into contract negotiations with Malawi Government and complete necessary recruitment formalities and the contract agreement will be for one year subject to renewal upon expiry.”
Nyamilandu also said FAM will be meeting Mwase in the course of the week to start preparing for the 2022 World Cup preliminaries slated for August this year.
“Mwase will, henceforth, be required to appoint his backroom staff,” he said
Asked why FAM did not proceed with an earlier arrangement to short-list from the 55 applicants and arrange interviews for the post of national football team coach, Nyamilandu said: “The appointment is essentially a promotion for Meke Mwase, who was a caretaker coach. This is based on merit and he has earned it; hence, no need to look elsewhere.”
And on whether they have set up targets for him, the FAM boss said: “We will be coming up with KPIs [key performance indicators] with government as part of the contract agreement.”
Nyamilandu said they will officially unveil the Flames coach designate next month.
On his part, Mwase, who was in charge of the Under-23 and Under-20 teams before his appointment as Flames interim coach, said he is excited with the challenge.
“I thank God Almighty and all those that were involved in coming up with the decision.
“It is a difficult task, but I believe that with the support from all the stakeholders, we will together achieve our dream to transform the Flames into a force to reckon with that it was once was,” he said.
Asked if he has any targets, Mwase said: “I think we have to continue from where we left and do even more. When you produce results, targets follow automatically, but obviously the first task will be to get the Flames past the preliminaries.”
Sports Council acting executive secretary Henry Mereka confirmed the resolution for FAM to hire a permanent coach during their Friday meeting.
“We appreciate the plan that FAM has laid down and we believe that it is has to be supported.
“During the meeting, an issue arose on whether to go for a local or foreign coach, but we left it to FAM who are the technical people, suffice to say that we were impressed with the performance of the team during the Cosafa tournament.
“So, if they have settled for Meke Mwase, then probably that is the decision that has been made, but we are yet to be informed officially,” he said.
Since taking over from Belgian tactician Ronny van Geneugden (RVG), Mwase has presided over eight games from which the Flames have won three and drawn three as well. They lost the other two in post-match penalties which means they are yet to lose under Mwase’s tutelage in open play.
On the other hand, out of 22 games, RVG won two, drew 12 and lost nine.