Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo says he banks on his previous unbeaten record to succeed.
Ng’onamo, who twice served in a similar capacity, takes charge of the Flames until the end of the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in September. He will be assisted by Ernest Mtawali and Patrick Mabedi.
His first spell was in 200 when he took charge of the Flames Reserve side which beat Botswana 3-1 in an Independence Celebrations match on July 7.
In November that year, he took over as caretaker when coach Allan Gillette resigned in Ethiopia after Flames’ 3-0 win in the first leg of 2006 World Cup qualifiers preliminaries.
He was in charge of the return leg at the Civo Stadium which ended 0-0, ensuring Flames’ qualification for the group stages.
In February 2005, Ng’onamo also took charge of the Flames in a similar role as they hosted Zimbabwe in an international friendly which the Flames won 2-1.
“I have a had a good run as national team coach. I have never held that position on a permanent basis. So, it is not a new role to me. I know what it takes and I am ready for the challenge to ensure that I preserve my record as well as set new heights,” Ng’onamo said on Thursday.
Much as the role is familiar, Ng’onamo says the working environment will be totally different.
“That time, there was no adequate support in terms of camping, but things have improved now as the national team goes into camp in good time and there are opportunities for friendly games.
“All I need is support from all stakeholders because I am here to save a situation which was deemed moving in the wrong direction,” he said.
Ng’onamo is by far Malawi’s most decorated coach in terms of coaching awards as he is the only holder of a Uefa A B licence and Uefa A Preparatory on top of a diploma from Germany and two others from Denmark.
He has had stints with Danish teams and worked under Kim Splidsboel and Gillette at Flames.
While the Flames were idle as FAM was busy organising its house with the appointment of the new technical panel, their World Cup qualifiers opponents were in action last Wednesday which fell on a Fifa calendar.
Group K leaders Nigeria walloped Mali 4-1 in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations to qualify for the finals this evening against Burkina Faso in South Africa. In the past three weeks, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have played five top-class matches. They beat Ethiopia and drew with Burkina Faso and Zambia in the group stages of the continental showpiece before stunning Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals.
Their participation at Afcon has shaped them ahead of their World Cup qualifiers, including hosting the Flames in June.
Kenya beat Libya 3-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday while Flames’ next month opponents, Namibia, played Morocco last month.