Flames upbeat

Flames captain John ‘Kintu’ Lanjesi says they have had enough ridicule for their poor showing and tomorrow will mark the turning point when they face e-Swatini in an away Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifier.

He said this yesterday at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre, when Football Association of Malawi FAM president Walter Nyamilandu delivered a motivational talk ahead of the (Chan) first round first leg qualifier slated for Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini.

Malawi national team players captured in transit yesterday at OR Tambo Airport

Nyamilandu was paying a courtesy call at Mpira Village in Chiwembe Township in Blantyre before their departure for Mbabane.

“We have had enough of being taunted as perennial underachievers and we want to bring a smile on the faces of Malawians.

“We are determined to prove our worth and earn places in the national team,” he said.

On his part, Nyamilandu urged them to be strong and courageous as they start the new campaign under the stewardship of interim coach Meke Mwase.

With reference to Joshua 1 v 6, he galvanised their morale and urged them to go for battle “without fear so that you can bring the much needed glory for the nation.”

He said: “You should not underrate Swaziland [e-Swatini] because there is no small nation anymore, instead, you should draw lessons and experiences from Comoros.”

Meanwhile, Mwase says he dropped up-and-oming attacking midfielder Peter Banda from the Chan qualifier against e-Swatitni due to an injury.

The Nyasa Big Bullets new-signing was conspicuously missing from the squad released on Wednesday.

However, the coach yesterday clarified that Peter, son to former Bullets midfield maestro, Chikondi Banda, has a knock.

“Peter Banda has been dropped because of injury not performance,” said Mwase.

The coach introduced Banda in the final 10 minutes of Malawi Under-23’s African Cup of Nations 1-0 loss to Zambia in Lusaka due to the same injury.

However, the coach has flexed his muscles, dropping some of former coach Ronny Van Geneugden’s favourites.

Silver Strikers midfielder Levison Maganizo and Bullets goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda are not in the squad.

Be Forward Wanderers players Felix Zulu and Simeon Singa, who were also regulars in RVG’s squad, have been dropped. 

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