By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
TNM Super League teams are finalising preparations for the 2019 season with friendly games across the country today.
It is indeed time for top-flight league teams to wind up their preparations as they are scheduled to return to action in the next seven days with mouthwatering fixtures at the country’s main soccer venues.
After a four-month break which was necessary to help players recover from a gruelling 2018 season, the teams are now working on their starting line-ups as they target silverware.
Champions Nyasa Big Bullets will have their final strength-testing match against Ntopwa at Mangochi Stadium whereas Be Forward Wanderers date Southern Region Football Association League Select at Kamuzu Stadium before meeting Hangover Sunday at the same venue.
Silver Strikers are in action against Mlatho Mponela at Mponela Ground in Dowa District this afternoon whereas Masters Security will take on TN Stars at Dedza Stadium tomorrow.
Bullets Team Manager, James Chilapondwa, said his side expects a tough season.
The People’s Team open the season on Saturday with a tie against TN Stars at Kasungu Stadium in the league’s launch match.
“We expect tough competition because most of the teams look like they are in good shape. But our aim is to defend the league title and we will work hard to achieve our goal,” Chilapondwa said.
Wanderers will kick off their campaign against Mzuni at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre and the Nomads’ Team Manager, Steve Madeira, said the two friendlies will help them to start the league on a good not.
“We have faith in the squad we have assembled. We just need support from all stakeholders within the Wanderers family so that we reach our targets. We have assembled a team which can challenge for all trophies this year,” Madeira said.
Silver, who finished third last season, have a long trip to the Northern Region for a showdown with Karonga United and Chitipa United.
But the Central Bankers’ Team Manager, Hellings Mwakasungula, said playing in Mponela will help them finalise their starting eleven.
“We will have a clear picture of the players who will do the job for us after this weekend. Our preparations have been good and we are confident that we will do well this year after a bad performance last season. We are a big team and we need to fight for all trophies to please our fans,” Mwakasungula said.
Silver finished the 2018 season empty-handed and the closest they came to lifting a trophy was during a 3-2 loss to Wanderers in the Fisd Challenge Cup final at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The 2019 Super League will have Ntopwa and Mlatho as new comers while Chitipa will be making a comeback after getting the chop in the 2017 season.
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