Giant-killers Hangover FC say Be Forward Wanderers will be the next big team to be added on their casualty list when they meet in the Carlsberg Cup semi-finals next week.
Basking in the euphoria of defying the odds to knock out two TNM Super League teams—Moyale Barracks and Blue Eagles—the Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Premier League side was reacting to the semi-final draw that has pitted it against the Nomads.
Said club owner Fayad Jussab: “We are looking beyond the semi-finals. Our target is to make history and win the cup and obviously that tells you that Wanderers are our next casualty.”
He said his confidence stems from the spirit of self-belief in his squad.
“It is not by fluke that we beat Chitipa United, Moyale and Blue Eagles. We have an ambitious young squad whose average age is 24.
“These boys are out to make a name, they want to prove that there is also talent in the lower leagues,” he said.
Ironically, Hangover are also doing well in only their first season in the second-tier league after earning promotion from Division One. They are third in the 22-team league and are tied on 44 points with second-placed Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Marine.
“This team started three years ago. We spent two seasons in Division One before earning promotion to Premier Division and we are in transit to the TNM Super League.
“So, reaching this far in this competition is just part of our ambitious drive,” he said.
Jussab said he bankrolls the club from his personal business, but is currently looking for a sponsor.
“The team’s annual budget is K14 million, but I pump in about K1.6 million a month when the season is in progress,” he said.
Jussab said the players are given K5 000 each as game bonus for a win, “but they got double as much after beating Moyale and Eagles and they will get even more if they beat Wanderers”.
Hangover have in their fold Alick Rabson who plays for the Under-17 national team.
Rabson said team spirit and determination is a source of their motivation.
“There is nothing special really, it is about team spirit and dedication. The owner also motivates us quite a lot,” he said.
Wanderers team manager Stevie Madeira said they are aware of the threat which Hangover pose.
“We cannot afford to toy around with the idea of underestimating a team that has beaten three big teams. We know nothing about them and that is where the challenge comes in.
“For them to get this far speaks volumes about their capabilities,” he said. n