By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Flames mentor Ernest Mtawali is expected to name a 20 man squad for 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Guinea next weekend.
The squad will include 9 local players and 11 professional players who will fly straight to Conakry next week.
Speaking in an interview with The Malawi Star, Mtawali said he would have loved to take on board every local player but due to the squad limit, some will be left behind.
“My local players did well from the day we started camping and I would have loved to travel to Guinea with them but due to the limit, some will be dropped this afternoon.”
“They showed great character and their level of fitness was encouraging and those that will be picked, will add value and combine well with the foreign based players,” he said.
On Guinea match, the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Flames midfielder said he was very confident of getting all the three points away from home.
“The spirit in the camp is overwhelming and I am very confident of getting all the three points away from home. There is no need to panic because my troops know how important these points are to the team in general,” said Mtawali.
The flames will depart on Sunday via Free Town where they are expected to play a friendly match with Sierra Leone on Tuesday before proceeding to Conakry.
Victory is a must for Mtawali’s boys if they are to keep their dreams of making it to Gabon alive. The last time Malawi appeared at Afcon finals was in 2010 in Angola where they registered a 3-nil victory over Algeria before suffering defeats in the hands of Angola and Mali to exit the competition in the group stages.