Bring it on
Silver Strikers, FCB Nyasa Bullets face-off in season opener
The curtain for the 2023 TNM Super League season opens with a potentially exciting match between champions FCB Nyasa Bullets and Silver Strikers at Bingu National Stadium this afternoon.
Silver and Bullets are familiar foes in domestic football. This is a match that will give fans and other stakeholders a glimpse of what to expect this season.
For a long time, the teams have given fans and stakeholders a raw deal. Surely, the local game needs to do more to win back the fans, which they have lost to foreign leagues.
In all fairness, the fans deserve to watch good, exciting and entertaining football as value for their hard earned money. For a long time, the game has suffered from poor attendance due to several factors including poor quality and lack of marketing strategy.
However, expectations are high from the football fraternity this season.
For Bullets, they will be looking to begin their title defence on a high.
They have won the title for four consecutive seasons under the tutelage of Kalisto Pasuwa.
However, the Zimbabwean faces one of the toughest seasons in domestic football.
Silver and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers are likely to give him a tough ride for his money.
Pasuwa has assembled a squad which is capable of defending the title.
Bullets will go into the match full of confidence after beating Wanderers 2-1 in the 2023 NBS Charity Shield at the same venue on Sunday.
Pasuwa said the players are ready for the match.
“We are living in a world where every team would like to be champions. Other teams have beefed their squads to win the title and so we, as Bullets, need to be cautious,’’ Pasuwa said.
Mike Mkwate, Patrick Mwaungulu, Lanjesi Nkhoma and Frank Willard are likely to be the matchmakers.
On the part of Silver, there is renewed hope following the arrival of Pieter de Jongh.
The Dutchman has a squad which can challenge for trophies this season.
This is his first official match in domestic football.
However, de Jongh said the team is ready to compete.
“We will try to win every game we play. Everyone in the team has the same vision. We are on the right track,’’ de Jongh said.
Last season, Silver and Bullets shared the spoils after a 2-2 draw at the same venue.
But Bullets defeated Silver 3-1 in the first round at Kamuzu Stadium in what was Daniel Kabwe’s last match.
Silver will rely on Chimwemwe Idana, Chikondi Kamanga, Stain Davie, Duncan Nyoni and Patrick Macheso.
Bullets won the 2022 Super League title with 73 points, 10 points above runners-up Blue Eagles.
In other matches on the opening day, Moyale Barracks host Karonga United at Mzuzu Stadium whereas Mafco will face rookies Chitipa United at Chitowe Ground. Mighty Tigers will meet rookies Extreme FC at Mpira Stadium.
TNM Chief Executive Officer Michel Herbert has since disclosed that there are more exciting things this season.
“The launch of the new season offers people renewed hope and optimism to develop our football by creating a heart-warming impression and lasting memories.
“We, as TNM, have returned with a stronger sponsorship package and new incentives aimed at rewarding players, clubs and fans,’’ he said.
He said the TNM network will support live streaming of matches this season.
“Football enthusiasts should look forward to new innovations from TNM to better experience football in Malawi. Very soon, we will launch e-ticketing payment through Mpamba for more convenient and safer access to matches,’’ he added.