Nyasa Big Bullets flew out to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, yesterday for Wednesday’s CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against Gor Mahia on Wednesday.
The People’s Team drove to Lilongwe yesterday morning and left the country through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) confident of chalking a positive result.
The club’s chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya and captain John Lanjesi said the worst result they expect is a draw as that will give them a spring in their step ahead of the return leg contest a week later.
Said Haiya: “We are ready and from past experience, we believe that if we can avoid a draw then it will give us an advantage going into the return fixture.
“The three international friendlies we had—one at home and two away—helped us a lot in terms of game approach for an away game. We did not concede in both the away friendlies which gives us hope that we could stand the heat in Nairobi.”
Bullets beat JKU of Zanzibar 2-0 at home in Blantyre, but were held to a goalless draw in the return friendly match in Zanzibar Town. They also played a 0-0 draw against Tanzanian giants Simba Sports Club.
On his part, Lanjesi urged the fans to have hope in the team.
“We are hoping to do well because as players, we are prepared. As players, we are aware of the importance of this game and our target to go beyond the knockout stages and reach the group stages.
“The tournament provides us an opportunity for exposure and we will grab it with both hands. We appeal to our fans and soccer lovers, in general, to remember us in prayers because we are also representing the nation,” he said.
Bullets have travelled with 19 players to Kenya and the notable names left out are midfielder Kondwani ‘Scholes’ Kumwenda and striker Mussa Manyenje.
Meanwhile, Goal.com reports that Gor Mahia are in the process of hiring a new coach to replace Dylan Kerr, who quit to take over at Black Leopards of South Africa. Italian coach Roberto Landi, who handles City of Lusaka in Zambia, is the latest to join the race.
“As at now, the club will be under coach Zedekiah Otieno. He is training the boys and we want to give him the support he deserves,” reads part of the report.
Following is the list of Bullets players who have made the trip: Ernest Kakhobwe, Rabson Chiyenda, Lanjesi (C), Yamikani Fodya, Pilirani Zonda, Sankhani Mkandawire, Miracle Gabeya, Emmanuel Zoya, Bashir Maunde, Chimango Kayira, Henry Kabichi, Mike Mkwate, Righteous Banda, MaFarlen Ngwira, Fischer Kondowe, Nelson Kangunje, Dalitso Sailesi, Bright Munthali and Chiukepo Msowoya. n