Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson Noel Lipipa says the People’s Team will axe 12 players in a quest to shrug off the ‘bridesmaid’ tag and win the TNM Super League championship next season.
For the second season running, Bullets have finished as runners-up after trailing eventual champions and their age-old rivals Be Forward Wanderers by two points.
Addressing the media on the team’s plans for next season, Lipipa said: “My observation is that half the team is aged and we need to get rid of them and beef up the squad with at least seven quality players—three of them from our reserve side.
“Honestly, if we maintain the same squad, it means we do not want to win the league. So, come what may, we need to strengthen the squad or else we will continue coming second which is unacceptable for a big team like Bullets as nobody recognises the runner-up. It cannot be business as usual.”
The Bullets boss said he hopes the supporters will embrace the move as they look at reorganising the team.
He said to that effect, the executive committee already held a meeting with the technical committee on the matter.
Bullets head coach Rogers Yasin yesterday confirmed discussing the matter with the executive committee.
“We were indeed called as a technical committee for a preliminary review of the just-ended season and we analysed our strengths and weaknesses.
“It was also during the same meeting that we were asked to come up with a list of players we felt are excess to requirement and the areas that we need to patch up,” he said.
But Yasin said they are yet to come up with the list of players to be off-loaded.
“We haven’t yet sat down because the season has just ended, but hopefully by this weekend, we should meet to assess the players.
“In coming up with the list of players to be off-loaded, there will be three categories—those that failed to make the grade probably because they could not suit our system or were simply hopeless, then there are others who are not performing because of age.
“Then there is also another group of players who were not able to rise to the occasion due to lack of game time and these can be given the benefit of the doubt by being loaned to other teams,” he said.
However, Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga contradicted the two, saying he was not aware of any meeting that was held to discuss the matter.