Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo has said he would want to travel to Mozambique to assess Malawian key players in the Mocambola top League ahead of the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia’s Brave Warriors and Kenya’s Harambee Stars.
Ng’onamo said unlike South Africa-based players, who can easily be assessed either through TV or his two deputies—Patrick Mabedi and Ernest Mtawali—who are based in the Rainbow Nation, it is difficult to assess the contingent based in Mozambique.
The coach’s statement comes in the wake of top local players flocking to the former Portuguese colony in search of fortune.
Those that are playing in Mozambique include goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, defenders Foster Namwela and Moses Chavula, midfielders Joseph Kamwendo and Jimmy Chikulekulue, and forwards Zicco Mkanda, Chiukepo Msowoya and Vincent Chinthenga.
Others are Rafiq Mussa, Lewis Minjale, Gerald Nkungula, Emmanuel Chipatala, Gerald Chimbaka, Innocent Jere, Patrick Thupi and Godfrey Masondo.
“I would, therefore, love to travel to Mozambique to assess the players and also have an opportunity to engage their coaches to help me determine which players warrant national team consideration. But, perhaps, the challenge would be on funding,” said Ng’onamo.
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said it is an issue that can be pursued.
“It is important that we indeed explore ways of assessing the performance of our players based in Mozambique because we now have a good number of them playing in the top league.
“He [Ng’onamo] can draw up a programme and identify key matches involving Malawian players that he would watch. It would also help in networking as he would be able to engage their coaches and find out how the players are performing,” said Nyamilandu.
Seasoned coach Kannock ‘Bruno’ Munde, who is based in Mozambique, said most Malawian players based there are doing well.
“I would advise the coach to make an effort and come here and assess the players and possibly talk to some of their coaches,” said Munde.
He cited Kamwendo, Mkanda, Nkungula, Chiukepo and Chimbaka as some of those currently enjoying good form.
“In fact, some of them, such as Joseph [Kamwendo] and Zicco [Mkanda] are well exposed because they are playing in CAF tournaments,” said Munde who coaches a First Division side Ferraviario de Nacala.
Ng’onamo’s predecessor Kinnah Phiri was often accused of ignoring Mozambique-based players.
Apart from the Mozambique contingent, a number of other Malawians ply their trade in South Africa and five of them, namely defenders Limbikani Mzava (Bloemfontein Celtic), Harry Nyirenda (Black Leopards), midfielder Robert Ng’ambi (Platinum Stars), and strikers Atusaye Nyondo (SuperSport United) and Robin Ngalande (Bidwest Wits) play in the PSL.
Others are veteran Esau Kanyenda (Polokwane City), Jimmy Zakazaka (FC Cape Town), Peter Wadabwa (Thanda Royal Zulu) and Tawonga Chimodzi (Santos).
Ng’onamo has since indicated that he will consider Kanyenda for the forthcoming games due to his vast experience to beef up the striking force.
The development comes in the wake of reports that the battle-hardened forward is doing well at his club.