Hosts Malawi have displayed their rich potential at the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship after a handsome victory in a warm-up fixture against FCB Under-20 League side Angaliba FC.
The Malawi squad won 9-1 as striker Chikumbutso Salima scored four goals and Emmanuel Saviel netted a hat-trick. Midfielder Noel Sakala and defender Clifford Chimulambe also found the back of the net.
It is the perfect preparations for the October 11-20 tournament, where Malawi face a tough group that also includes two-time winners South Africa, 2017 champions Zambia and Eswatini.
“We wanted to see how the boys can perform in an actual game after four days of training camp,” coach Deklerk Msakakuona said.
“So far the response is positive as they are able to play according to instructions. But we still have more work to do.”
The team will have another fixture on Thursday against Nyasa Big Bullets Youth at the Kamuzu Stadium.
Meanwhile, the team are finding solutions away from the pitch as well after the boys were put through academic sessions in the evenings while in camp.
One of the obstacles for teams preparing for the championships is the fact that most players are still in school and facing important exams.
For that reason, the Football Association of Malawi Technical Development Officer Benjamin Kumwenda says they have recruited teachers to tutor the players.
“These are school-going boys and we can’t just be having football training sessions without considering their educational needs. The classes will help them to be on the same track with the others,” Kumwenda said.
Malawi open their Group A campaign against South Africa on October 12, before a clash against Eswatini two days later. They close out their pool play against Zambia on October 16.