Former Flames coach Kinnah Phiri is Malawi senior football team’s all-time top scorer on 67 goals whereas incumbent Young Chimodzi is the most capped national team player, latest research findings show.
England-based Malawian researcher Mario Antoine, who wants to write a book, zeroed in on the missing puzzle of domestic football history through a self-funded research spanning 20 years.
He used data collection methods such as questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, reviewing newspaper cuttings, websites and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) files to come up with the findings.
During a career spanning seven years from 1974 to 1981, Kinnah scored the 67 goals in 110 games, followed by his successor at Bata Bullets Lawrence Waya on a distant 29 goals from 125 matches.
The late Frank Sinalo comes third with 27 goals scored in 71 matches while Stock Dandize is fourth on 23 goals in 69 games
Yasin Osman is fifth on 20 goals from 55 games while current Flames veteran striker Esau Kanyenda is sixth.
The research shows that Peterkins Kayira is on position seven with 20 goals scored in 65 games followed by Barnet Gondwe on eighth position with 19 goals.
Spy Msiska is on position nine with 16 goals.
Since attaining independence, such football statistics, which are marketable elsewhere, have been a subject of guesswork and FAM is still reconstructing bits of the data.
Chimodzi, Chamangwana and another great Osman admitted being interviewed by Antoine and cross-checking with their personal records.
“He gave me the statistics and I verified all the games that I played. They tallied with my records which I have since lost. I also scored more than some strikers. Current defenders do not express themselves. I also kept free from injuries. There was also little indulgence in alcoholism during our era. I do not know if my records will be broken,” said Chimodzi.
The records show that the Silver Strikers legend Chimodzi played in most national team games, 154 times, according to the statistics between 1985 and 1993.
The figure could rise as his last international match was Malawi’s 3-1 loss to Cameroon at Kamuzu Stadium in 1995.
Chimodzi is also Malawi’s highest scoring defender ever with 12 goals, trailed by his current assistant Jack Chamangwana’s 10, a feat modern defenders struggle to achieve, according to Osman.
FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale, who is also doing a similar research, confirmed to have shared notes with Antoine.
“Currently, my research has Young leading on caps and Kinnah on goals followed by Lule. I have more statistics from 1977 as coaches such as Ted Powel kept files. I know this man [Antoine]. The problem is he wants information from us, but he is not willing to share his,” said Jangale.
Antoine traces his project to the 1990s when he had an encounter with two officials from English Premier League side Chelsea who eventually wrote books on the team.