Six current and former Flames players have given thumbs up to Young Chimodzi and Jack Chamangwana’s hiring as coaches, but have questioned the national team’s shambolic preparations.
Mozambique-based goalkeeper Simplex Nthala claimed that Flames players have from Kinnah Phiri’s tenure, preferred Chimodzi owing to his tactical astuteness and good temperament.
“I hope these two will change football in Malawi. We have been thinking of Young being the coach for the Flames. I am happy it has come to our expectations. He is the only coach who has got all the capabilities. When Kinnah was absent, we could see Young having good training ideas but couldn’t come out with them since he was an assistant,” the Maxaquene custodian said last Thursday when asked for his reaction.
Chimodzi served as Kinnah’s deputy from 2008 until 2013 when both were, alongside Flames technical adviser Chamangwana redeployed as regional football development officers. Kinnah is working as an assistant coach for South Africa’s Free State Stars.
Defender Moses Chavula of Mozambique’s Costa do Sol last Thursday said Chimodzi and Chamangwana understand the team well and are competent “but what would be most important is the support they would get from FAM and government.”
But former Flames first choice goalkeeper Swadick Sanudi last Thursday argued that the hiring and firing of coaches cannot solve the Flames’ shortcomings. Chamangwana asked to be called again yesterday for his comment.
“Have they solved the problem that was there when Kinnah, [Eddington] Ng’onamo and [Patrick] Mabedi were coaches? If it’s about [exercising] power to hire and fire it is okay because you cannot change it,” said the Big Bullets goalkeeper trainer.
Flames winger John ‘CJ’ Banda yesterday seemed to agree that Chimodzi and Chamangwana are good coaches “but the only challenge is on preparations. Look, even now we are missing out on the experience which our counterparts are gaining from Chan.”
Silver Strikers midfielder Frank Banda also noted that Chimodzi and Chamangwana’s success would hinge on government support to the Flames’ training and friendly matches.
Defender Panganeni Ndovi said he has much respect for Chimodzi and Chamangwana from the time he worked with them in 2008, saying their understanding of the game is unquestionable.
“They are both good coaches with lots of experience. Since I knew Yugo [Chimodzi] in 2008 as a coach, I have always liked his coaching tactics,” said the player who is set to bounce back to action after a two-year injury lay off.