The 2015 TNM Super League gets underway on Saturday with defending champions Big Bullets taking on Silver Strikers in the launch game at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
With the sponsorship package having been raised to K90 million from K65 million, the top-flight league is expected to be exciting and competitive as the battle for the K15 million ultimate prize gets under way.
The league’s theme this year—‘Our Players, Our Heroes, Our Pride’—focuses on the player who is the main entertainer of the game but welfare is oftentimes compromised.
According to TNM chief commercial officer Dan Makata, to mark the launch of the league, the country’s top mobile phone company has lined up a number of activities aimed at creating fun and entertainment.
“Among the activities, there will be music performances by Skeffa Chimoto, ‘the Jaming Machine’ and Simon and Kendall of the ‘Nyemba Nyemba’ fame, games and competitions outside the Civo Stadium from 10am,” said Makata.
The centre of focus in the launch game will obviously be midfielder Victor ‘Vibre’ Limbani and striker Tizgobere Kumwenda, who will be facing their former team Bullets in their debut should they be thrown into service.
Limbani and Kumwenda spent a season at Bullets on loan from Blantyre United before they were sold to the Bankers.
Limbani said he is not awed with the prospect of facing his former team.
“As a player my loyalty is always to the team I am playing for at that particular time. I had a good time at Bullets, but I have moved on and I have to focus on my new team and challenges,” said Limbani.
Silver coach Stein Chirwa hinted that the duo could feature against Silver.
“I cannot say whether they will play or not, but what I can confirm is that they are available for selection and we are impressed with their level of fitness and attitude,” said Chirwa.
However, Bullets technical director Billy Tewesa painted a gloomy picture claiming they will have to do without five key players who are out injured among them goalkeeper Vincent Gona and experienced midfielders James Chilapondwa and Henry Kabichi.
“But the players are looking forward to the game although I can say without fear of contradiction that we are not 100 percent ready. When we are ready, people will know,” said Tewesa.
Bullets are expected to showcase former Flames talisman Chiukepo Msowoya. Their other new signings are Peter Nyambose and Eneya Banda.
In other games slated for Saturday, Surestream FC host Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium while their fellow rookies Dedza Young Soccer engage Moyale in Dedza. In Zomba, Red Lions face Civo United while Airborne Rangers entertain Azam Tigers.
On Sunday, Mighty Wanderers kickstart their campaign against Epac FC.
The Nomads are expected to showcase some of their new signings who include Jimmy Zakazaka, Muhamad Sulumba, Isaac Kaliati, Malumbo Gondwe and Stanely Sanudi.