Action in the 2019 edition of the COSAFA Women’s Football Championship begins on Wednesday in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Malawi women national football team is taking part in the tournament which starts on 31 July and will end on 11 August.
She-Flames, as they are fondly called, will start their campaign with Madagascar on Wednesday.
The team left the country on Monday with hopes that it will perform to the expected standards, according to the team’s head coach Abel Mkandawire in an interview with the press before departure at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.
“We are now ready for the COSAFA challenge and we are geared for a good start against Madagascar this Wednesday,” he said.
The 20-member squad left for the tournament without captain Tabitha and her sister Temwa Chawinga, who have club commitments in China and Sweden, respectively.
But Mkandawire said despite missing the services of the two, the team remains confident of doing well at the tournament.
“Although the absence of the Chawinga sisters is a setback, we are confident with the striking force that we have. The likes of Sabina Thom, Mary Chavinda, Linda Kasenda and Asimenye Simwaka,” said Mkandawire.
The final squad has Thom, Kasenda, Simwaka, Chavinda, Madise, Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Zainab Kapanda, Emily Jossam, Bridget Mkuzilire, Fatsireni Kazembe, Ruth Nyirongo, Chikondi Gondwe, Enelesio Mhango, Mercy Sikelo, Patricia Nyirenda, Maureen Phiri, Samir Amidu, Wezzie Mvula and Sheila Dimba.
The technical panel comprises Mkandawire, assistant coaches Andrew Chikhosi and MacNebark Kadzuwa, goalkeeper trainer Chimwemwe Chitedze, fitness trainer Chisomo Nkhoma, team doctor Elita Chinoko and team manager Clara Luhanga.