Big Bullets, Nomads renew rivalry
Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers open a 2016 first installment of their rivalry Saturday when they face-off in Chifundo Charity Shield as a curtain-raiser for the new season at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Despite playing for a good cause, both teams appreciate the importance of the match as domestic football bragging rights are at stake.
Both sides have bolstered their squads, hence today’s match promises to be a thriller.
The fixture is also unique because two men in the dug-out have managed both teams.
Bullets Head Coach, Franco Ndawa, was once in charge of the Nomads, whereas Elijah Kananji, who is Wanderers Assistant Coach, remains part of the giants’ history after winning the Carlsberg Cup with both teams in consecutive seasons.
Although today’s result might not be a true reflection of the teams’ performance for next season, the match offers both sides an opportunity to make final touches ahead of the new season.
Bullets and Wanderers have been inconsistent during pre-season games.
The Nomads have been ineffective upfront during pre-season games despite having natural goal poachers, Jimmy Zakazaka and Peter Wadabwa.
Wanderers vice-Team Manager, Steve Madeira, on Thursday said his charges were treading cautiously ahead of the match.
“The mood is very good as all the players are mentally and physically ready. We have excellent players, who are ready to show, case their talent. We respect Bullets as league champions but we will silence our noisy neighbors,” said Madeira, whose side will miss injured Boston Kabango, Peter Mselema, Peter Munthali and Ishmael Thindwa.
Rivals Bullets have also assembled a strong squad having purchased Muhammad Sulumba, Emmanuel Zoya and John Lanjesi from Blantyre United and Civo United respectively.
Bullets Team Manager, Rahim Ishmael, was also confident that they will win the encounter.
“We are set for the big game and the players are ready for the match. We have prepared well and we will give fans a good game,” Ishmael said.
In attack, Bullets will likely feature Sulumba and Chiukepo Msowoya, who have proved to be dangerous on many occasions. This weekend’s game will see 10 players making their first appearance in the country’s biggest local fixture.
Wanderers have Japanese import, Genk Nakamura, Peter Wadabwa, Felix Zulu and Nenani Juwayo are set for their debuts, whereas Zoya, Lanjesi, Ernest Kakhobwe, Amadu Makawa will also be in a similar situation at Bullets.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has organised the match in conjunction with Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) to raise funds for the purchase of trolleys at Kamuzu Central Hospital
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