They face different opponents, but the rivalry between them is as fierce as ever as they fight for superiority in the Orange Partners Charity Shield at Civo Stadium.
That is the story about the two Blantyre football giants, Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers.
Carlsberg Malawi’s failure to choose one of them to sponsor has just fuelled the rivalry and both clubs are determined to win the shield.
But looking at the two team’s opponents in today’s encounters, it will not be a stroll in the park for the Blantyre big guns.
Wanderers face Silver Strikers in an earlier encounter whose result is as unpredictable as the one between Epac and Bullets.
At stake in the two-day tournament is prestige and the K1 million (about $2 500) winner’s purse.
Bullets’ Central Region supporters spokesperson Austin Kasito acknowledges that the rivalry between his team and the Nomads has increased.
“Each club wants to better its record. The Charity Shield provides that opportunity. Although I believe we have been more successful than them, we still want to demonstrate our superiority over them,” said Kasito.
He said they have been propelled to win this competition to beef up their coffers after missing out on the Carlsberg Malawi exclusive sponsorship.
“The money is more important than anything else and it will act as a big motivation to the players. We are still in the same situation as last season, we need money for sustainability,” he said.
Bullets were expected to arrive in the capital, Lilongwe on Friday.
Nomads executive member Christopher Kananji said they are taking the Charity Shield seriously to break even on achievements with Bullets, who won the GOtv Bonanza last week.
“We are eyeing the ultimate prize. We have always had it easy with Silver. We want to face Bullets in the finals. We are focused on winning the Charity Shield and our preparations have been smooth,” said Kananji.
He has appealed to the team’s supporters in the Central Region to wear Carlsberg-branded jerseys and cheer their team to victory.
“The shield will offer us an opportunity to market the jerseys. We still want to benefit from the Carlsberg replica jerseys business to raise something for the players,” said Kananji.
Both Bullets and Wanderers have been given K420 000 (about $1 050) by Orange Partners to meet some expenses, according to chairperson of the organising committee, George Tambala.
Kananji confirmed the development, saying, among other things, they will use the money for accommodation and transport.
Tambala said the First Gentleman Justice Richard Banda (retired SC) is expected to grace the games.
According to Tambala, proceeds from the this tournament will go towards assisting flood victims in Nsanje, Karonga and Nkhotakota.