Flames coach Meck Mwase has named a final squad for next month’s back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon and Mozambique, departing from the usual trend of a provisional call-up.
Malawi will play Cameroon on September 3 in Yaounde before travelling to South Africa to host Mozambique at Orlando Stadium four days later.
This time, the coach has no pleasure in a provisional squad from which to pick his final squad as the Flames play their home match away following the blacklisting of Malawi’s stadia.
Instead, the coach has selected the final squad for the two matches.
“We do not have time to select a provisional squad so we have just picked directly the players we are taking for the two World Cup qualifiers, “ said Mwase during a virtual media briefing via zoom.
The coach has largely utilised the recent Cosafa Cup to pick new faces.
Midfielders Tawonga Chimodzi, Micium Mhone and Mike Mkwate have all made the squad.
“These players were outstanding at the Cosafa Cup,” he said.
Also making a return to the squad is Mighty Wanderers goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa to compete with Nyasa Big Bullets’ Ernest Kakhobwe and Silver Strikers’ Brighton Munthali.
“We have seen that Chipuwa has improved a lot in the local league and cup games,” he said.
Players missing from the squad include Tanzania-based Simba SC’s Duncan Nyoni, Bullets’ Chimango Kayira, Hassan Kajoke and Wanderers’ Vitumbiko Kumwenda.
However, Mwase said they have put some players on standby in case of any eventualities.
“As you are aware, there is a Covid-19 test which players have to take. So, there is a list of some players on standby to replace those that might fail to make it,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the Flames will go into camp on Wednesday, minus Bullets and Red Lions players who clash in a TNM Super League match on Thursday.
“Bullets and Red Lions players will join the squad on Thursday,” he said.
Malawi is in Group D alongside Cameroon, Mozambique and Ivory Coast.
The following is the full squad: Goalkeepers: Munthali, Chipuwa and Kakhobwe; Defenders: Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi, Nickson Mwase, Limbikani Mzava, Dennis Chembezi, Charles Petro, Kieran Ngwenya and Gomezgani Chirwa; Midfielders: Chikoti Chirwa, Peter Banda, Chimwemwe Idana, Mhone, John Banda, Yamikani Chester, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Chimodzi, Mkwate and Francisco Madinga; Strikers: Vincent Nyangulu, Richard Mbulu, Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango and Khuda Muyaba.