Isaac Jomo Osman is an ardent Nyasa Big Bullets fan. In fact, he is the club’s immediate past supporters’ chief and cheers the outfit while donning its trademark red-and-white colours.
But this afternoon, the significance of his ambition to lead his team Ntopwa FC to Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Premier League’s ultimate glory and TNM Super League promotion against Bullets Reserves in a title decider at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre outweighs his love for the People’s Team.
Both sides are tied on 95 points from 41 games but Reserves top the 22-team log-table as they have a better goal difference of 90 against Ntopwa’s 53.
“This Sunday, my fellow Bullets supporters might call me a traitor but I plead with them to bear with me because I will be fighting against their dream of seeing the Bullets Reserves winning the Chitetezo Mbaula title,” said the Ntopwa FC owner and team manager after their training session at the stadium yesterday.
“Of course, I am still a devoted Bullets supporter but, for now, I also personally have a colour dream of getting Ntopwa FC into the top-flight league. I am sorry but tell my Bullets fans that we will go separate ways this Sunday.”
In the first round, Ntopwa suffered a 0-3 thrashing by Bullets Reserves but Osman says they will get into the field of play with renewed vigour to outclass their title rivals.
Nevertheless, Bullets Reserves coach Enos Chatama, whose side has not lost a single match in their last 27 matches (14 wins and 13 draws) since their loss to Changalume Barracks in the first round, believes his team deserves the title and they will do their best to beat Ntopwa.
“We know the decider will be our toughest match in the league but we are ready to take the challenge head on. Although earning a Super League promotion is not our core motivation, we cannot afford to miss the ultimate glory after reaching this far,” he said.
In spite of that, Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya told The Nation over a week ago that they are tempted to let their reserve side play in the Super League in the 2019 season should they take the Chitetezo Mbaula crown.
Haiya explained: “If the Reserves win the [Chitetezo make a recommendation to the board to consider allowing the reserve side to be promoted. But let us cross the bridge first and then we can take it from there. Another option could be to sell the franchise so as not to deny the players a chance of showcasing their talents at a higher level.” Mbaula] league, we will
In this afternoon’s battle, Bullets Reserves bank on the likes of leading scorer Hassan Kajoke (38 goals), Frank Mlanjira and Chimwemwe Idana to deliver the goods while Ntopwa has trust in players Mphatso Magaleta, Levi Makoko, Bernard Palanda and Glemu Lemera.
According to SRFA vice-general secretary Kingsley Simbeye, the decider will see patrons paying K500 in open stands, K1 000 in MBC stand, K2 000 in covered stand and K3 000 in VIP stand. The game will be curtain-raised by a Division One decider between Sable Farming and Ciso FC.