Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) has dropped three players from the home-grown squad that is in camp in preparation for an international friendly match against Uganda on March 27.
According to Flames team manager James Sangala, Nyasa Big Bullets defender Emmanuel Zoya has been left out due to a groin injury while attackers Mphatso Philemon of Blue Eagles FC and Civil Sporting Club’s Fletcher Bandawe have been dropped to pave the way for foreign-based forwards who are expected to join camp in the next few days.
“The squad has been trimmed not because the three players performed poorly; they did well. However, Zoya has a groin injury whereas Philemon and Bandawe could not be maintained because we have more foreign-based strikers that will be joining the squad,” he said.
Sangala added that Dwangwa United goalkeeper Charles Thom has been switched from the senior squad to the Under-20 side which is also in camp.
Zoya, who was named the 2017 TNM Super League best defender, said he is not fit for national team engagements at present while Philemon and Bandawe could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The latest development means that once the foreign-based strikers Richard Mbulu, Robin Ngalande and Chawanangwa Kawonga join the camp, the squad will have seven forwards as at present, there are four local-based strikers—Chiukepo Msowoya, Patrick Phiri and Righteous Banda (Bullets) and Khuda Muyaba (Moyale Barracks).
Despite that, RVG is tomorrow expected to officially announce a contingent of between nine and 10 foreign-based footballers that will join the 21 local-based players for a penultimate camp training before leaving for Kampala on March 24.
The Flames will have camp training sessions between tomorrow and Thursday. n