By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Flames head coach Enerst Mtawali says the decision to re-call back veteran players for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea next week does not mean that he has abandoned the rebuilding exercise.
After taking over from Young Chimodzi last year, Mtawali dropped some of the senior players in favor of local and Under 20 players but the decision back fired as Malawi exited 2018 FIFA World Cup after losing to Tanzania and performed miserably during the Cecafa tourney in Ethiopia.
Months later, he changed the tune saying the dropped professional players will be re-called for Guinea clash.
Defending the move, the Flames mentor said he re-called back the senior players because they are performing better for their respective clubs.
“The decision to recall back senior players doesn’t mean that I have abandoned the rebuilding exercise, I have just called them because they are doing better in their respective clubs.
“The exercise is still on, I have included four under 20 players and some local players because I don’t want to abandon this project,” he said.
Joseph Kamwendo, Zicco Mkanda and Harry Nyirenda are some of the senior players to have made a comeback into the team for the first time since last year.
Malawi, a point in group L, will leave for Guinea via Sierra Leon on Sunday afternoon.
Beating Guinea away from home will keep Malawi’s chances of making it to Gabon for their third Afcon finals appearance in the team’s history.