Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson Noel Lipipa has rewarded the People’s Team’s reserve side with K750 000 for winning the Masters Security Southern Region Football League Division One championship and earning promotion to the Premier League.
Bullets Reserves won the third-tier league with 94 points from 36 games, winning 30, drawing four and losing only two.
Speaking when he hosted the team to a luncheon on Christmas Day in Blantyre, Lipipa also pledged to personally bankroll the team’s trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, by road for pre-season friendlies.
“I was thrilled with your performance in the few games that I watched you play and to me most of you are not the future of the senior team, but you are the present day material. I have, therefore, thought it wise to reward you as a token of appreciation for your achievement and commitment.
“The techncal committee will actually be meeting soon to come up with a list of those that will be promoted as we aim at energising the team,” he said.
That was not all. Lipipa also pledged to convince Bullets’ new owners Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) to include the reserve team players on payroll. Currently, the team only gets game bonuses.
Team manager Chance ‘Vinny’ Gondwe and coach Enos Chatama hailed Lipipa for his gesture, saying it will motivate the players to give out something extra.
Team captain, Charles Petulo, who also plays for the Under-20 national soccer team, thanked Lipipa, saying the donation will inspire them to win the Premier League championship next season.
“Bwana chair, what I can tell you on behalf of my colleagues is that this is just the start as we have set our eyes on earning promotion to the Super League next season. So, be prepared,” he said.
Earlier on, the team’s WhatsApp supporters group donated 13 pairs of boots and pledged to buy them 12 pairs more.
They broke the league’s record winning margin with a 21-0 demolition of Balaka-based Mighty Ivory. Their top scorer was Sheriff Maida with 31 goals.
Apart from Petulo, BB Reserves also have three other Under-20 national team players—Ernest Petulo and Nixon Nyasulu while Alex Samba plays for the Under-17 national side.