Coach Ernest Mtawali has expressed concern over Flames players CJnr and Robin Ngalande fitness levels as the players continue their inactivity at their clubs.
The Flames mentor said he would have been happy if Phiri Jnr and Ngalande had joined the squad earlier.
“Papa [Phiri Jnr] is yet to get a work permit in Botswana where he is on loan at Township Rollers. It is now over eight months since he played competitive club football and it is a cause for worry. I only hope things will work out soon for him.
“Robin is also not playing, but then it is at the discretion of his club on whether to release him or not. His situation is a bit tricky,” said Mtawali.
The two players are among 12 foreign-based players that were called up for next month’s 2017 back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers against Guinea’s Syli Nationale.
So far, only South Africa-based defender Harry Nyirenda has joined the squad.
Meanwhile, the Flames have eased down a gear on their physical fitness training.
When the team regrouped last week, they were having three sessions per day, but Mtawali on Sunday said they had cut the sessions to two.
“The players’ fitness levels have improved and we have seen it wise to revert to the normal schedule of two training sessions per day,” said Mtawali.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda is expected to announce which team Malawi will play in preparation for the back-to-back qualifiers.
Nyirenda said he took the opportunity of last week’s Fifa assembly to talk to other associations for possible strength testing matches for the Flames.
“We are still optimistic that the team will at least play one strength testing match,” Nyirenda said.