TNM Super League champions Kamuzu Barracks (KB) and Presidential Cup champions Nyasa Big Bullets have promised to dish out their best when they clash in the Chifundo Charity Shield this afternoon at Civo Stadium.
The pressure seems to be on both sides as they have different agendas in this charity match.
Bullets have a big debt to repay their diehards after recently suffering a third consecutive loss to rivals Be Forward Wanderers this year at Bingu National Stadium.
It has not been rosy for the People’s Team who lost back-to-back in Luso Bus Ipite Bonanza in January before succumbing to another 1-0 loss to the Lali Lubani side in Wafa Wafa Big Four Bonanza.
As the People’s Team returns to the capital, they have to win at all cost to restore the supporters’ confidence ahead of the new season.
Coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan confessed that a loss will not be a welcome result.
He said: “I know some will say this is just a charity match, but for Bullets, this is no small match. It’s serious business. We have to win at all cost as we prepare for the coming season.”
The coach, however, said they are not underrating KB.
“KB are a big team. They are Super League champions. We respect that. But we are taking this match seriously and we are prepared for them. After this game, that’s when we can say we can gauge our readiness for the 2017 season. Having said that, it is our wish to win because all that our fans want is kumwa wamkaka,” he said.
Ironically, KB wrestled the Super League championship from Bullets with just a point ahead of defending champions.
KB coach Billy Phambala said they were ready for the showdown, adding that they anticipate a tough game.
“It is always tough when playing Bullets. It will be an interesting game,” he said.
But KB team manager Francis Nthukwa-Shawa downplayed that his side would be under pressure to live up to league champions’ expectations.
“For us, we are using this game to try new players. As you are aware, six of our players were with the national team and will only join us on Friday [yesterday]. As such we will not use them because they have not been part of the preparations for the match. You will see new faces—some you have never seen before. Almost eight new players will be featured in this match,” he said.
KB have Dave Banda, Lemani Nthala, Harvey Nkacha, Pempho Kansichiri and Manase Chiyesa in the national team.
Bullets players in Flames camp are Ernest Kakhobwe, John Lanjesi, Yamikani Fodya, Chimango Kayira, Dalitso Sailesi, and Muhammad Sulumba.
Proceeds from the match will be used to buy donations for Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre, according to FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka.
“We have picked Kachere because the facility assists most of our players when they are injured,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ramadhan called for Bullets fans to patronise the game.
“This is a charity match. By doing so, they will be assisting patients who are at the facility,” he said.
Bullets won the inaugural Charity Shield last year after beating their age-old ribals Be Forward Wanderers 2-0.