FAM says technical director (TD) Marian Mario Marinica will take charge of the Flames in a bid to boost the team technically and tactically ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals next month in Cameroon.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has further beefed up the Flames technical panel by appointing Britons Ged Searson as a data analyst and Clywd Jones as a sports psychologist.
In a statement issued yesterday, FAM says the decision was made at its executive committee meeting held on Friday.
Reads the statement in part: “The meeting took a decision to reorganise the technical setup of the Flames to ensure that it is well prepared for the forthcoming Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2022.
“This comes against the background of the Flames’ dismal performance in the just-ended 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers where the team finished bottom of the table. “
“Upon reflection, it has become very clear that the team has technical and tactical deficiencies that have to be worked on to turn around its performance.
“After careful consideration, the executive committee approved that the new TD Marian Mario Marinica should temporarily take charge of the Flames as head of technical panel supported by Meck Mwase.”
The statement further states that the meeting approved the hiring of a professional data analyst and a sports psychologist to work with the team.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said in an interview yesterday that the Romanian will take charge of the Flames immediately.
He said: “He [Marinica] will be involved in the trenches and will take charge of the technical panel.
“But the arrangement is specifically for the Afcon finals.”
FAM technical subcommittee chairperson Tiya Somba Banda, who is also a FAM executive committee member, said having roped in the TD, the expectation is that the Flames’ performance, especially in attack, will improve.
He said: “We shouldn’t lie, of late the performance of the team has not been good and with the little time we cannot bring in a new coach.
“He [the TD] has vast knowledge of the game and with Meck in between, they can help in improving the performance of the team.
“When the TD presented his report after watching the final 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon and Mozambique, he observed that the Flames had better possession and, at times, would manage to string 24 passes, but with no end product.
“So he is someone who can work on how we can make good use our strengths and also improve on our weaknesses.”
Flames coach Meck Mwase could not be reached for comment
Meanwhile, Searson, the data analyst whom FAM has engaged, is an experienced scout with an extensive background in opposition and recruitment scouting and Somba Banda said he will help in analysing Flames’ opponents in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
His key achievements include contribution to the promotion of West Ham United FC to the English Premier League during the 2011-2012 season as well as reaching the League Cup Semi-finals.