Football Association of Malawi (FAM) plans to deploy the bulk of the current and previous Under-17 national team players into Flames Olympiad squad to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
According to FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, this is one way of nurturing the players before they graduate to the senior Flames.
He said the players will be engaged in monthly training camps during school holidays starting from the end of this year from which the best players will be roped into national squads for European tours and some international friendly matches ahead of the Olympics.
“The setting up of the Olympiad team is our ambitious project of making amends to our squad development system, which had some transitional flaws,” said Nyamilandu.
“By trying to keep these young players together for a long time, we are not only preparing them for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which is competed among the Under 23s, but we are also building a strong senior national team through squad consistency. We hope that after the Olympics, it is this squad that will graduate into the senior Flames.”
FAM technical director John Kaputa said the local soccer governing body will try its best to help the Flames Olympiad squad participate in the Olympics through qualification. At present, Malawi participates on Olympic solidarity.
However, soccer analyst George Kaudza Masina said while FAM’s idea looks appetising, the problem is implementation.
“On paper, this idea appears massive. But the problem with FAM is implementation. It could be more ideal if they could have come up with a well-documented programme for the same,” he said. n