Injuries have forced Flames Meke Mwase to call five complete new faces in preparation for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against South Sudan.
The six are Kamuzu Barracks goalkeeper Bonage Lweya, defenders Lusekelo Malema (Karonga United) and Nixon Nyasulu (Nyasa Big Bullets); midfielder Lackson Sangano (Mzuni FC) and striker Foster Bitoni (Blue Eagles).
Mwase has called up a 28-member squad which is scheduled to go into camp at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre tomorrow.
The Flames gaffer said he is worried with the injuries of some of his players, citing defenders Precious Sambani, Charles Petro, Chembezi Dennis and midfielder Mike Mkwate.
Apart from these, South Africa-based captain Limbikani Mzava and his vice John Lanjesi have also been out for a while.
“It is a cause for worry because most of these players are regulars. We are keeping our fingers crossed that some of them should be fit for the games.
“Nevertheless, we have confidence in the players that we have called into camp,” said Mwase.
Returning to the squad is Be Forward Wanderers centreback Lucky Malata, who announced his retirement from national duty last year. Silver Strikers wayward forward Khuda Muyaba is also back in the fold.
Flames team manager James Sangala yesterday said Malata is available for selection following a meeting he had with the national team coaches.
“During the meeting, he [Malata] outlined some issues that led to his decision, but they talked it over and he accepted to return to the national team,” he said.
The notable exclusion from the squad is Bullets’ goaltender Ernest Kakhobwe.
Bullets and Wanderers have contributed eight players each to the squad, which is the highest, followed by Silver who have four.
Malawi will host South Sudan’s Bright Stars at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on November 11 while the return leg is scheduled for Kampala in Uganda nine days later.
Following is the full squad: Goalkeepers: Brighton Munthali, Charles Thom, Rabson Chiyenda, Lweya, William Thole: Defenders: Stanley Sanudi, Trevor Kalema, Malema, Malata, Ted Sumani, Gomezgani Chirwa, Nyasulu; Midfielders: Sangano, Chimwemwe Idana, Chikoti Chirwa, Peter Banda, Miciam Mhone, Francisco Madinga, Alfred Manyozo Jnr, Felix Zulu, Chimango Kaira, Isaac Kaliati; Strikers: Hassan Kajoke, Patrick Phiri, Chikaiko Batson, Bitoni, Stain Davie and Muyaba.