The Malawi Under-17 national football team has left for the Cosafa Youth Championship scheduled for Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Coach Deklerk Msakakuona has named a 20-member squad that left through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on Tuesday morning for the competition scheduled between November 19-29.
The junior Flames were placed in Group B alongside Zambia, Botswana and Comoros.
Speaking before departure, Msakakuona said he is confident with the squad he has assembled despite having little time for preparations.
The team only had two friendly games against Blue Eagles and Civil Service senior football clubs, which the coach said was tactical to ensure they gain confidence.
“Everything went on well. We were not after the result but teamwork and coordination amongst the players since they were playing top teams in the country. 14 players were disqualified because of age limit. Otherwise the remaining ones are ready for the competition,” Msakakuona said.
The junior Flames will start their campaign against Botswana on Friday before meeting Zambia two days later and Comoros on November 25.
They will begin their group stage campaign with a game against Botswana on November 20, before facing Zambia on November 22.
The tournament is a Zonal qualifier for the 2021 CAF Under-17 Cup of Nations where two top teams will make it to the finals in Morocco.
Last year, Malawi were knocked out of the competition in the group stages 3-2 by Zambia which proceeded to grab the championship.
The only positive for the junior Flames was beating South Africa 3-0 before going down 2-1 to Eswatini.
Goalkeepers: Alex Dzimbiri, Justice Mhone, Caleb Chirwa.
Defenders: Edward Phiri, Yankho Chitembeya, Innocent Sikwese, Cliff Mbewe, Andrew Lameck, Pilirani Issa.
Midfielders: Prince Minandi, Steven Banda, Precious Chamangwana, James Chomba, Renald Mapulanga, McDonald Chiwanda.
Strikers: Enock Dumuza, Islam Mayiwa, Chifundo Mphasi, Samson Zakeyu