By Peter Phiri:
Since 2004, the country’s football power houses have never tested the continental qualification from ground stages in the CAF champions league.
A distant past, Bata Bullets cream of 2004 , to date, remain in the football books as the only team to have narrowly made strides in CAF tournaments as they rubbed shoulders in the preliminary round before making it into the group stages.
That 2004 cream recorded famous wins against some of the Continent’s powerhouses among them Uganda’s Villa SC, Zenaco of Zambia and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.
That was enroute to a historic Group stage qualification where the people’s team would rub shoulders with the likes of Nigeria’s Enyimba, Etoile du sehel of Tunisia and African sports from Ivory Coast.
Apart from Bullets, other soccer giants, from 1998 to 2015, Telecom Wanderers now Mukuru Wanderers, defunct Masters Security football club ,and Silver Strikers tried their luck in the continental club showpiece but all failed to secure promotion to the next stages of the competition.
Just like, 2004,Can bullets Break the Jinks once again?
Bullets under the coffers of Bata shoe Company,Total, Bakili and Nyasa Manufacturing from 1999 to 2004 through 2015 to 2019,
the Club has led an army into CAF competitions carrying hopes for Malawians to raise the country’s flag but miserably saw the
dreams grueling in Preliminary on several occasions.
Unlike in 2020 to 2021 football seaon, where Bullets officials reported a pull out of the tournament citing delayed approvals of early training preparations following suspension of sports activities due to Covid 19, Simba crush today, will test Malawi’s quality and standard of the beautiful game.
Football analysts have previously faulted the quality and standards of the country’s elite leaguers and management that it has failed to compete against Africa’s football dominants.
Are the current TNM super league leaders, Nyasa big bullets ready to take on Simba by holding on the lion’s mane on behalf of the red berets army? Other soccer pundits, pointed at clubs preparations into the tournament as a stumbling block for malawian teams to progress in other stages.
With Zimbabwean born Tactician Calisto Pasuwa at the helm of Bullets technical set up, has led to a locally recognized grilling football seasons with the peoples team claiming successive medals in their shelves But failed a mark in both Confederations and champions league.
A head of today encounter , Pasuwa in pre-mach interviews, acknowledged the failed views on teams preliminary round stagnation and promised to roll his sleaves and take on Tanzania’s Taifa champions, banking on both the energy of his star-studded young and seasoned crop of players.
According to Pasuwa,his charges will go full throttle for a win having corrected previously encountered poor defending approaches.
The club, for the past 4 years has deeped fingers in its purse to form a distinct main team with investments directed towards the reserve side, a development that has so far seen a cream of play under the stuardship of Pasuwa.
Bullets face Simba this after noon having reported an available full registered squad with Yakho Singa the only casualty in Bullets camp nursing a nee injury.
The People’s Team will go into the field of play having enjoyed Taifa Clubs type of play recently including Simba’ bitter rivals of Young Africans, Azam FC and Express of Kenya among them, courtesy of an invitation from Kagame Cecafa cup.
Ironically, the Visiting Tanzania champions Simba did not take part in the competition.