Big Bullets have the depth in squad to give a good account of themselves in 2015 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League, but thorough preparations would be paramount, consulting coach Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan has said.
“If you see our displays, we have the squad, it just needs strengthening here and there. The squad is there so it is more about preparations than the squad,” Ramadhan told the press in a post-match interview on Saturday at Kamuzu Stadium.
Ramadhan spoke about the Champions League after Bullets were officially crowned the 2014 champions, weeks after registering through FAM their interest to have a go at the continental showpiece they last tasted in 2004.
There are big questions on whether Bullets can get sponsorship for Champions League participation when the Flames have been struggling for the same. However, club chairperson Kondie Msungama suggests that winning teams can never struggle to attract funding.
The issue of funding is crucial as Bullets spent some K70 million when reaching the Champions League group stages in 2004, when Msungama was vice-treasurer.
Elsewhere, in Zimbabwe there will be Champions League representative after league kings opted out due to lack of funding.
Survivor from the 2004 Bullets Champions League squad James Chilapondwa told MBC on Saturday that playing in the continental event is a stepping stone to professional football. “It is like a step ahead than playing in the Super League. To participate in CAF, it means the national team will have a lot of players with experience.”
CAF has since reportedly written Bullets seeking further details on conditions to be met by participants, including that each team must have a secretariat, a youth team and own ground.
According to regulations, all 56 CAF member associations may enter the CAF Champions League, with the 12 highest ranked associations eligible to enter two teams in the competition.
Teams play in preliminary round, group stages then the knock out phase with some $1.5 million (K675 million) at stake for the champions. n