Flames coach Ernest Mtawali has included three new faces in the 27-member squad which is expected to start camp training this morning in preparation for the Cecafa East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup to be hosted by Ethiopia from November 21 to December 6.
The three are in-form Civo United midfielder Nelson Kangunje, his teammate Dan Msimuko and Fisd Wizards and Under-20 international midfielder Isaac Mwale.
Mtawali and his assistant Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan have also included four foreign-based players—goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, midfielders Chimango Kayira and Gerald Phiri Jnr and striker Chawanangwa Kawonga.
“Kangunje and Msimuko have been at the hub of Civo’s revival and are enjoying a rich vein of form. As for Mwale, he is one of the up-and-coming players with lots of potential and has been very consistent too,” said Mtawali.
Justifying the inclusion of some foreign-based players, Mtawali said: “Do not forget that apart from offering the up-and-coming players a platform for exposure, the tournament will also be part of our preparations for our next  Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in March.
“Added to that, in Mozambique, they are now on off-season break and we thought it wise to include some of the players.”
The Flames mentor said Phiri Jnr has been included because he is not active in South Africa where he is still awaiting his permanent residence permit.
“I have asked FAM [Football Association of Malawi] to speak to his club, at the same time I will get in touch with his [Bidvest Wits] coach Gavin Hunt to seriously consider releasing him because it will not only be to the benefit of the player and his country but also them as a club.
Big Bullets defender Sankhani Mkandawire and Be Forward Wanderers talisman Jabulani Linje who returned to action recently following injuries, have also been called up. Also making a return to the squad is Kamuzu Barracks captain Harvey Nkacha.
Mtawali continues to keep faith the Under-20 national team that he built last year from which has included 10 players namely goalkeeper Brightone Munthali, defenders Stanely Sanudi, Boston Kabango and Miracle Gabeya, midfielders Isaac Kaliyati, Dalitso Sailesi, Levison Maganizo and Mwale and strikers Schumacher Kuwali and Kawonga
According to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda, the team will be camping and training at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre.
Others in the squad are Richard Chipuwa, Pilirani Zonda, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi, Chisomo Mpachika, John Banda, Yamikani Chester, Chiukepo Msowoya and Manase Chiyesa.