Ntopwa coach Trevor Kajawa believes rejuvenated midfielder Raquib ‘Lulu’ Milanzi will play a pivotal role tomorrow as they face leaders Be Forward Wanderers at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre in the TNM Super League.
The former Wanderers’ star, who was out of active football for five years, made an incredible return to elite football action on Sunday.
He scored a brace after being featured in the last 20 minutes of the game to help the Amaghetto Kids secure a 3-2 comeback triumph over Mighty Tigers.
Following this fifth victory in 18 games, Ntopwa moved a place up to 13th on the 16-team log-table to with 17 points and they might move to 10th if they beat the Nomads.
“Milanzi has brought stability to the team, making it easier for us to attack.l He is a great inspiration to up-and-coming players,” he said.
“We know we have a tough assignment against Wanderers this Saturday [tomorrow], but with experienced players such as Milanzi, who played in both domestic and foreign leagues before, we know we will be a force to reckon with.”
Milanzi, whose contract as Airtel Top 8 ambassador has just expired, had stints with clubs such as Wanderers, Nyasa Big Bullets, Civil Sporting Club, Zimbabwe’s Caps United and Kenya’s Tusker FC before quitting active football in 2014.
However, the 33-year-old, who was top scorer in last weekend’s seven league games, said yesterday he is geared to make history as a player that still ticks in elite football after retiring from retirement.
“I would like to prove that experience matters most in the game of football. So as I enjoy the game, I would like to help my team get into the top-10 bracket and a win again Wanderers will be key to realising this dream,” he said.
Wanderers coach Bob Mpinganjira yesterday said they will be cautious in their approach to the game, knowing they are facing a tough side that bubbles with youthful energy and experience.
“Ntopwa is fighting to rise from the bottom of the table and is a team full of energy and experience. They will surprise us if we do not play our cards well.
“Therefore, we have left no stone unturned in our bid to win the game and remain at the summit of the log-table,” he said.
However, Mpinganjira said they have confidence in players such as leading scorer Babatunde Adepoju (14 goals), Francisco Madinga and Stanley Sanudi that they will ably overcome Ntopwa’s stubbornness. In other league games this afternoon, Civil Sporting Club hopes to move up to sixth as they host 10th placed Tigers at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe while ninth-positioned Karonga United wish to dislodge eighth-placed Moyale Barracks when they take on 12th placed Mzuni FC at home.