Mabedi closing in on final Malawi squad for COSAFA U20 Champs

Malawi coach Patrick Mabedi is closing in on his final squad for the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship after releasing more players from his provisional selection on Thursday.

The former Kaizer Chiefs defender had initially called 52 players for trials in the build-up to the competition, which also serves as the zonal qualifier for the 2021 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations that is scheduled for Mauritania.

That number has now been halved, with the final 20 names to make the trip to Nelson Mandela Bay for the December 3-13 likely to only be revealed next week.

The side has been in camp for two weeks, putting in vital preparation for the competition, where they have been drawn in Group B.

They will open their campaign against Comoros on Dec. 4, before a clash with Namibia three days later. They close out their pool play against defending champions Zambia on Dec. 9.

Only the top team in each pool and the best placed runner-up advance to the semifinals, with the two finalists qualifying for the continental finals next year.

“The boys are improving day by day since we started our training and they are very good listeners. We have played two friendly games with

Ntopwa and Mighty Tigers and registered wins in both games, which is good for us,” Mabedi says.

“We are releasing more players and we will remain with 26 players who will be with us until we name the final squad a day before our departure.

“We don’t want to rush in naming the final squad because anything can happen in the remaining days.”

The team is expected to leave for the tournament on Tuesday.