There is not much change to the Flames squad which will face Morocco in a swim or sink 2019 Afcon qualifier on September 7 in Rabat, Morocco.
Apart from a few debutants, coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) has maintained his favourites for the qualifier against the Lions of the Atlas.
RVG has included all players that he picked for the Cosafa Cup for the camp which starts tomorrow.
Goalkeepers Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers), Charles Thom (Dwangwa United) and Rabson Chiyenda (Nyasa Big Bullets) have been given the nod while Stanley Sanudi (Wanderers), John Lanjesi (Bullets), Peter Cholopi (Wanderers), Chembezi Denis (Wanderers), Gomezgani Chirwa (Civil Sporting Club), Ian Chinyama (TN Stars) and Trevor Kalema (Silver) are the usual defenders the coach has always relied on.
The only new inclusions in defence are Under-20 national team youngsters Charles Petro (Bullets Reserves) and Hadji Wali (Silver Strikers).
In midfield, the coach has handed Chimwemwe Idana a debut call-up and included Henry Kabichi, who returns to the Flames after a four-year absence.
The two join regulars namely Alfred Manyozo (Wanderers), Mike Mkwate (Bullets), Rafick Namwera (Wanderers) and Levison Maganizo (Silver) in midfield.
The only new face on the attackers list is the TNM Super League current top-goal scorer Stain Davie.
Otherwise, Felix Zulu (Wanderers), Chiukepo Msowoya (Bullets), Patrick Phiri (Bullets), Righteous Banda (Bullets), Gastin Simkonda (Moyale Barracks), Raphael Phiri (Civil) and Khuda Muyaba (Silver) have all been maintained.
The squad has drawn mixed reactions with some questioning the inclusion of some players that are not enjoying game time at their clubs.
“We have not seen much of players such as Dennis Chembezi, Ian Chinyama, Peter Cholopi and Trevor Kalema at their clubs. One wonders why RVG thinks these players can deliver if they are not having game time at their clubs,” said soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda.
But RVG said he has picked the best of the best.
He said: “This is a good blend of the oldguards and the youngsters who are knocking on the door and have shown the spirit to play at top level. It is important to bring the young players on board. I am impressed with Dave’s performance in the local league and also happy that other, strikers Chiukepo [Msowoya] and Gastin [Simkonda], are also performing. We hope they will translate that at the national team.”
Griffin Young Stars striker Davie Banda and Wanderers left-back Precious Sambani have been left out since they are in Belgium undergoing trials.
But conspicuously missing from the squad is Dalitso Sailesi, who has just rejoined Bullets after returning from Zambia’s Lusaka Dynamos while Silver’s Jack Chiona is injured.
Meanwhile, the coach is expected to name foreign-based players next week.
“We are still analysing the foreign-based players,” said RVG.
Apart from Mozambique-based regulars John CJ Banda, Frank Banda and goalkeeper Charles Swini who are enjoying game time, most South Africa-based players are not active.
Captain Limbikani Mzava is the only professional player who has been enjoying game time at his club Golden Arrows since the Premier Soccer League (PSL) kicked off two weeks ago.