I have been following and watching the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) competition in Gabon with keen interest. Let me start by saying that I am not a football pundit, but once in awhile I do spare time to watch football.
I have been quite impressed with teams such as Cameroon, Senegal and Mali who seem to have built complete new teams and done away with the old ones. I must say that their squads are quite young, energetic and look hungry for trophy and, of course, they a playing beautiful football.
These teams may not necessarily lift the trophy, but they sure do have a promising future, which is unlike Malawi’s national team, the Flames.
Watching Afcon 2017 and seeing that other countries have overhauled their teams and brought in fresh blood, despite that the old teams were equally good, made me wonder when will Malawi finish the rebuilding of the Flames squad.
As far as I can remember, Malawi has been ’rebuilding’ the national team. Every coach they hire talks about how he is here to rebuild a new team, yet you still see the old, tired and tactless legs playing. And, we still hope for new results.
Coaches, local and foreign, have come and gone, yet nothing has changed about the Flames. It is still the usual losing, and uninspired team. I wonder why we even have the Football Association of Malawi (FAM). Is FAM not supposed to ensure that this rebuilding of the Flames comes to a completion? You can’t be rebuilding forever. There has to be time when you need to put the rebuilding tool down and admire your finished project. Unfortunately, that’s not the story with the Flames. It makes me wonder at times if at all those entrusted with the responsibility are inspired to see good results.
It is high time Flames just participated in such soccer feasts, but even lift the trophy. It is at such events that players get exposed and scouted. At the moment, players are lucky that they are even invited to play outside the country. My wish is to see the likes of Chiukepo Msowoya playing for the English Premier League, La liga and other world class leagues, not these good-for-nothing leagues that make them even worse players.
It’s not impossible to really build a new team. It’s just that FAM and government lack ambition. By now, we should have been talking of no less than five football academies nurturing Flames players across the country.
You can’t be talking of rebuilding a team when you still use the same tired and unmotivated players. There is also need for some FAM old gurus to be let go. They have been there since they started talking of rebuilding the Flames and clearly they have failed to finish the rebuilding exercise. n