Two overseas stars for Malawi at 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship

Malawi coach Stuart Mbolembole has included two overseas-based players in his squad for the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship to be staged in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from September 13-24.

Austria-based defender Kazisonga from the Altera Porta club and striker Tabitha Chawinga, who plays in Sweden with Knarsveden IK, are set to join the squad in Zimbabwe this coming weekend.

The pair will add experience and know-how to the Malawi team who have high hopes of a good showing at the regional showpiece competition.

The 20-player squad also features six players from the DD Sunshine club, five from Blantyre Zero and four from four from Skippers FC.

Stuart Mbolembole will be assisted at the competition by Maggie Chombo and Andrew Chikhosi.

Malawi have been drawn in a difficult Group A that also includes hosts Zimbabwe, Zambia and Madagascar.

They reached the semifinals when the competition was last played, also in Zimbabwe in 2011, but were ousted by eventual runners-up South Africa.

Malawi will open their 2017 campaign against Zambia (September 13), before clashes with Madagascar (September 15) and Zimbabwe (September 17). All of these matches will be played at the Barbourfields Stadium.

The top team in each pool advances to the semifinals, along with the best second-placed side.

Malawi squad

Goalkeepers: Memory Gama (Skippers FC), Martha Banda (Blantyre Zero)

Defenders: Chisomo Kazisonga (Altera Porta, Austria), Emily Jossam, Fatsireni Kazembe (both Skippers FC), Patricia Nyirenda (Ntopwa Super Queens), Chimwemwe Madise, Ruth Nyirongo, Wezzie Mvula (all DD Sunshine)

Midfielders: Madidna Nguluwe, Eluby Bottoman, Sabinnah Thom (all DD Sunshine), Chikondi Gondwe (CY Sisters), Pilirani Malora, Lucy Chiumia (both Blantyre Zero), Shira Dimba (Skippers FC)

Strikers: Tabitha Chawinga (Knarsveden IK, Sweden), Temwa Chawinga, Mary Chavinda (both Blantyre Zero), Rachael Mwale (Moyale Women’s FC)