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Masters hint on Confederation Cup return

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Masters Security FC has hinted that they would take part in next year’s Confederation Cup just a day after exiting the second tier continental club tournament.

The Lilongwe-based outfit crashed out of the competition after a 3-0 aggregate loss to Proline FC of Uganda in the first round.

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Masters’ participation was doubtful as they struggled to raise resources, with owner Alfred Gangata threatening to pull out if stakeholders did not come to his rescue.

The team has also been struggling to pay players for more than three months, resulting into training boycotts and failure to fulfill a TNM Super League match against Mzuni at Dedza Stadium.

But Gangata said his ambition was to turn the club into one of the best on the continent.

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“Definitely, we will join again. The competition gives exposure to the players and we always enjoy taking part. We are out yes, but we have learnt a lot from playing in Africa. This gives us the edge over teams that did not participate in the competition.

“I was impressed with the way we played on Saturday and any well-meaning football lover would agree with me that we are a good team. Taking part in big competitions is the only way we can keep on improving,” Gangata said.

Masters lost the first leg 3-0 in Uganda but played out to a goal-less draw at Bingu National Stadium after missing a host of chances.

For Masters to take part in next year’s competition, they need to win or at least reach the semifinals of a domestic cup.

Local coach Davie Mpima said Masters did not prepare well for the competition.

“Masters were not ready. They had too many issues within the club to concentrate on the job at hand. If they want to participate again, they should prepare well. But they deserve credit for making it despite facing some challenges,” Mpima added.

It was double tragedy for Malawi as Nyasa Big Bullets were also booted out of the Caf Champions League after losing 3-2 to FC Platinum.

Renowned sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said Bullets were just unfortunate in this year’s competition.

“Bullets did well but lack of experience cost them the game. They also gambled by making a road trip to Bulawayo. Their players might have been tired,” Kaudza-Masina said.

Bullets conceded in the last 10 minutes of the match to crash out of the elite continental club tournament.

Devon Chafa, Never Tigere and Perfect Chikwende scored for Platinum whereas Peter Banda and Patrick Phiri were on target for Bullets.

The exit of Masters and Bullets summed up a disappointing campaign in continental competitions for local teams in the past three years, with no local side managing to go past the preliminary round.

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