Azam Tigers technical director Robin Alufandika says their coach Frank ‘Franco’ Ndawa’s flirtations with the Flames, in team manager capacity, put spanners in the Kau Kau’s TNM Super League campaign.
Alufandika is worried that Ndawa, who has no deputy, has missed some five games, including the 2-0 beating of Karonga United a few weeks ago. Team manager Chikaiko Bridge, Alufandika and general secretary Steve Madeira sit in for Ndawa whenever he is on Flames duties.
“At this stage, we expected to be in the top two. We have good players who can win the championship, but there is little coordination between old and new players,” said Alufandika when asked a general question on Tigers’ performance so far.
Ndawa replaced long-serving Flames team manager Stuart Mbolembole who was then unattached. Tigers are now eighth with 16 points, a far cry from last season’s exploits of going seven games on the trot without conceding goals.
“Secondly, our coach is always in and out due to his engagement with the national team and this has affected us. Going into the second round, we need to sit down with him on how we proceed as he never asked for our permission when he was hired by Football Association of Malawi (FAM),” Alufandika complained.
Alufandika then shifted his attention to FAM, claiming they too did not dare seek the Kau Kau’s permission when calling Ndawa for national team assignments.
“When he leaves for the national team, he never says goodbye. FAM just snatches him. At one point, our chairperson [Sydney Chikoti] complained that FAM is not respecting our team and he wanted them to be paying the coach. That is how serious things are,” added Alufandika.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda last week insisted that they have always notified Tigers when summoning Ndawa to Flames assignments.
He said Ndawa was even left out of the trip to Benin due to lack of enough money.
“We brought him in when he was unemployed and two days later, we heard that he had picked a job at Tigers. I do not know how we could have consulted when he was a free agent. We made it clear to that it was on part-time basis and that we would bring a liason officer [James Sangala],” explained Nyirenda.
Ndawa yesterday admitted to have missed some five games, but could not be drawn into reacting to Tigers’ concerns.