Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) has settled for former Flames striker and current Be Forward Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira to drill national team strikers ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Morocco and Cameroon next month.
But Wanderers technical director (TD) Yasin Osman yesterday said he would not release Bob and accused RVG of trying to sabotage the Nomads’ preparations for their TNM Super League Blantyre derby against leaders Nyasa Big Bullets at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this Saturday.
Flames team manager James Sangala said RVG was expecting Mpinganjira to guide the camping national team strikers during an afternoon training session at the Kamuzu Stadium yesterday and in all the sessions today.
But Osman said: “I really do not know their [Flames technical panel’s] intention in choosing a coach who is preparing his team for a must-win derby. For sure, someone is trying to sabotage our preparations through this arrangement.
“I believe Bullets also have some capable coaches for that job. Why did the Flames panel not invite them instead? Tell whoever is behind the sabotage plan that this is unacceptable.”
But Mpinganjira yesterday said he was ready for the task as long as it does not clash with his training schedule at his club.
RVG promised to invite former Flames prominent strikers such as Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya, Russell Mwafulirwa and Esau Kanyenda to help solve the Flames scoring problem that has been troubling him for over a year.
However, plans to invite Waya, Mwafulirwa or Kanyenda have failed.
Waya is in South Africa and there are some logistical problems to get him in the country while Mwafulirwa is busy at his work place in Likoma and Kanyenda has been ruled out since he is still an active player, according to Sangala.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) vice-president James Mwenda, who is also head of the local soccer governing body’s technical sub-committee, said they approved RVG’s proposal to let former Flames legendary strikers mentor and act as role models for the camping goal-poachers.
Recently, RVG admitted that scoring is the Flames’ biggest problem as they play well and create chances which the strikers fail to convert.
During their participation in the last two Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Championships, the Flames scored one goal through defender Precious Sambani in a one-all draw against Botswana.
The Flames, who beat Comoros 1-0 in their opening qualifier last year, are joint Group B leaders with Cameroon, who beat Morocco by the same score.
Comoros are third while Morocco anchor the group.