Malawi coach Mario Marinica is hoping to take The Flames back to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2023 after their excellent showing in reaching the second round in Cameroon earlier this year.
Malawi have been drawn with Egypt, Guinea and Ethiopia in Group D of the latest qualifiers that are due to begin in June, and while Marinica admits it is “not easy”, he is hopeful they can continue to show the improvement that served them so well at the last finals.
One worry is a lack of game-time at club level for some of his top stars, including Orlando Pirates forward Gabadinho Mhango, but the Romanian coach says they will just have to manage the situation.
“Not too many things have changed, but unfortunately our top player Gabadinho Mhango, like at the AFCON, is still not a regular for his team,” Marinica told The COSAFA Show.
“But we believe in him and every single player we choose. We think that by working hard and being organised, we have a chance.
“You rely on selecting players on merit and on form, and when these players are not playing regularly, it is a difficult task. But at the end of the day, we must make do with the best players we have on hand.
“At [the 2021] AFCON, we were the team with the most players playing in the local league – 14 out of 28. That will likely not change this time either.”
Also on this episode of The COSAFA Show we get draw reaction from Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos, while COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes gives an update on the latest tournament calendar for 2022.