Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo reacted quickly to include Mighty Wanderers striker Victor Mpinganjira, Big Bullets midfielder Dalitso Sailesi and Blantyre United striker Sparrow Msowoya to his squad after some pundits questioned their exclusion.
Ng’onamo excluded the trio from his initial 25-member squad that went into camp on Monday in preparation for a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia later this month.
A number of pundits questioned their exclusion alongside others such as Mafco talisman Osward Nkagula and Mighty Wanderers exciting winger Gerald Phiri Jnr whom they felt had a fantastic season and deserved a place in Ng’onamo’s first call up.
Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda and MBC’s Patrick Simango were among those who felt Ng’onamo’s did not cast his net wider.
“Victor, Osward, Dalitso, Sparrow and Gerald Jnr did well and I was surprised when the coach left them out. We know everybody cannot make it to the squad, but with due respect, these lads deserved consideration compared to the others that have been included,” argued Kanyenda.
Simango added: “We really need these youngsters to be part of the set up now so that they should be learning the tricks. Players such as Osward, Vic, Gerald Jnr and Sailesi deserved a place in the initial call-up.”
However, Ng’onamo said for now only Mpinganjira, Sailesi and Msowoya will be drafted into the squad on non- residential basis.
“There are indeed a number of players who didn’t make it, but are equally good . We should keep it in mind that we have a big game coming up in three weeks time and we can’t have that wide pool of players because time is not on our side to assess everyone.
“The three were also part of my initial squad, but could not be accommodated due to funding as we had a specific number of players to call. But they are based in Blantyre and can be training with us on non-residential and who knows they may surprise us. As for the others, they will definitely be considered in the future call-ups,” he said.
The Flames caretaker coach also justified the exclusion of TNM Super League Golden Boot Award winner Vincent Chinthenga saying he needs to be given time to settle at his new Mozambican club Ferrviario de Nampula.
Meanwhile, Ng’onamo has also called up Blue Eagles defender Steven Chagoma who was surprisingly excluded from the initial squad .
“The name was there in the first place, but it was just mistakenly overlooked. He is a good defender and deserves to be in the team,” said Ng’onamo in an interview yesterday.
Ng’onamo also revealed that the technical panel, which also includes his deputies Patrick Mabedi and Ernest Mtawali, has decided to put Wednesday as a media day.
He said during the day the media will be allowed to have an open field day with the coaches and players in a mixed zone.
“We may be granting interviews on some pressing issues any other days, but we want to field the media on Wednesday’s after the morning training session.
“The media will be allowed to talk to players of their choice as well as ask us all the questions. But in other days we will allow the reporters to come and just watch and observe. We want to do things professionally so that there are no disturbances as we prepare for the crucial match [against Namibia],” he said.