Tough times await Malawi Under 17 National Team ahead of the 2019 Cosafa Youth Championship following a draw conducted on Wednesday at the Council of Southern Africa (COSAFA) Headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nsakakuona: Coach for Malawi U-17
The Junior Flames have been drawn in Group A alongside neighbours Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.
Group B comprises of Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and Comoros.
Reacting to the draw, Flames Under 17 Coach Deklerck Msakakuona admitted the draw to be tough.
However, Msakakuona said the Junior Flames need to rise up and fight had to progress to the finals being the host nation.
"It is a tough one but as hosts we need to rise above this and ensure that we make it to the semi-finals and finals to win the championship" said Msakakuona.
The draw for the COSAFA Men's Under-17 Championship has also thrown up two intriguing groups.
Winners and runners up for each group will advance to the next stage.
CAF Instructor Zunaid Mall said the level of competition has been high in previous three years and people should expect the same this year.
"We have seen the level of boys Under-17 football grow immensely in the three years that this tournament was staged in Mauritius, and we expect it to be even higher this year," said Mall.
"These are two very tough groups, but I am sure just about all the teams will fancy their chances of moving on to the semifinals. It should make for a great competition" Mall told Cosafa website.