Nyasa Big Bullets Coach Kalisto Pasuwa has hailed his players for defying the odds to win two national competitions in the 2022 season.
Bullets finished the season as the most successful team with the TNM Super League title, FDH Bank Cup and the Charity Shield.
They also qualified for the Airtel Top 8 Cup final where they lost 5-3 to bitter rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers on post-match penalties in the last match of the season on Saturday.
Pasuwa had the challenge of assembling a new team at the beginning of the just-ended season after releasing 11 senior players.
The People’s Team replaced the 11 with youthful players from its reserve side such as Kesten Simbi, Patrick Mwaungulu, Yankho Singo and Thomson Magombo.
Pasuwa said he was proud of the youngsters’ achievements despite being newcomers to top flight football.
“These are youngsters who have been playing very well and one loss at the end of the season doesn’t take away the fact that they have extremely done well this year and I am very proud of what they have achieved.
“I will not take away everything from them and I am very optimistic about how they will perform next season. So, kudos to them, I salute my players,” he told Bullets’ website.
Football analyst Kim Kamau said the youngsters had exceeded expectations.
“The general expectation was that they would find it difficult to adapt to top flight football but they defied the odds. They hit the ground running and proved the doubters wrong. It is not easy for a team to make such wholesale changes and still dominate the game. Other teams should learn from the Bullets model,” Kamau said.
In the 2022 season, Wanderers and Mafco are the only teams that beat Bullets in local competitions, with Simba hammering them twice in the Caf Champions League.