Nyasa Big Bullets wonderkid Patrick Mwaungulu’s impressive performance in the TNM Super League has earned him a maiden Flames call-up by public demand.
The under-23 attacking midfielder, who has been instrumental in Bullets’ recent success in the TNM Super League, was not in the initial squad for the 2022 Cosafa Cup preparations.
However, FAM competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka yesterday confirmed the 19-year-old, who had a grand game in the 5-0 thrashing of Mighty Tigers at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday and scored as well as provided two assists, has joined the Flames squad.
He said: “He will join the camp today [Tuesday].”
Soccer analyst David Kanyenda, one of the proponents for the inclusion of the player, thanked Flames coach Mario Marinica for taking heed of public outcry.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted by Mwaungulus’s inclusion. He’s ripe for introduction into the Flames fold and Cosafa is the ideal platform to expose raw talent.
“Technically he’s a gifted player with amazing pass accuracy, speed and ball control. There’s no excuse to exclude the lad in the first place.”
However, Kanyenda said the player can only be effective in a free-flowing style of play.
He said: “For him to flourish, Mario must abandon ping-pong football and instead revert to the traditional pass and support system of possession football we are renowned for.”
Meanwhile, the camp has been hit by absence of some players due to injuries and illness.
Three Nyasa Big Bullets players Gomezgani Chirwa, Chimwemwe Idana and Precious Sambani have not reported for camp due to injuries they suffered during the the match against Tigers.
Silver Strikers forward Stain Davie also has a knock while Blue Eagles’ Schumacher Kuwali has been diagnosed with malaria.
The Flames on Monday regrouped to kick-start preparations for the 2022 Cosafa Cup set for Durban, South Africa next month.
The Flames are in Group B alongside Lesotho, Mauritius and e-Swatini.