This is it. The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has said Flames coaches will have no excuses if they fail to meet the target of winning the 2015 Cosafa Cup given the sound preparations the team has undergone which included three preparatory matches.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said this yesterday ahead of the team’s trip to South Africa today for the regional showpiece.
The association has set winning the Cosafa Cup and qualifying for the next round of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as the targets for coach Young Chimodzi and his assistant Jack Chamangwana if they are to be considered for contract extensions. Their one-year contracts will expire in July.
“The team has had enough time for preparations, we arranged three games against Tanzania, Zambia and they will play a training game against South Africa, and therefore, there should be no excuses, no scapegoats.
“In fact, we did all that to ensure that there will be no regrets that we should have done this or that,” said the FAM boss.
However,Chimodzi yesterday said they are not losing their sleep over the set targets.
“Our focus should be on the task ahead other than the set targets because if we dwell on that then things are not going to work.
“So, we are not under any pressure. I believe we have assembled the best local squad that has been further strengthened with some foreign-based players,” said Chimodzi.
Asked if the target to win the Cosafa Cup is achievable, Chimodzi took a deep breath and said: “If we are determined, we can do it and I believe we are if we approach the tournament with the right attitude coupled with determination and proper game plan, we will deliver. Nothing is impossible”.
And speaking during a press briefing held in Blantyre yesterday, one of the long-serving players Fischer Kondowe also said they will have no excuse should they fail to win.
“We have no scapegoat because we have had enough time for preparations coupled with friendly matches and we are looking forward to the tournament,” he said.
The Flames have never won the regional tournament since its inception in 1997, but have been in the finals twice in 2002 and 2003.
Meanwhile, FAM has said technical consultant Anday Dell was formally introduced to Chimodzi and Chamangwana last Thursday where they agreed on the working relationship and the role of the consultant in the quest to qualify for both 2017 Afcon and  World Cup.
Chimodzi confirmed that Dell has been engaged to offer technical advice as a consultant and not to interfere in their work.
“The important thing is that there are lines that have been drawn,” he said.