Bullets face Silver in season opener

Mponda, a former Bullets on-field leader and assistant coach, will be the centre of focus as he gets a stern test in a quest to revitalise the Reserve Bank of Malawi-sponsored outfit desperate for revival.

He spent four seasons as the Zimbabwean tactician’s assistant, winning four TNM Super League titles together, before trekking to South Africa to start a new lease of life at second-tier side Black Leopards.

In an interview on Thursday, Mponda said while he has huge respect for his  ex-boss and mentor, he is not losing his sleep with the prospect of facing his former team.

He said: “I have huge respect for Kallisto, he is a top-notch coach. Him and RVG [Ronnie van Geneugden] stand out as the best coaches I have worked with and I learnt a lot from him.

“But I am afraid this is a new chapter and I am a banker now, I have moved on.”

On whether he is under pressure, he said: “I am not in a cold sweat, to me this is just one of those games that will help us fine-tune for the new season.

Silver have won four of their five-pre-season games, beating Mafco 4-3. Kamuzu Barracks 1-0, Bangwe All Stars 3-0 and Santhe Admard 4-0 before playing out a goalless draw against their capital city rivals Civil Service United.

On the other hand, Pasuwa said the match will help them finalise their preparations for the season.

He said: “When preparing for a match, I don’t normally look at the opposition. I concentrate on my team.

“But for us, it will be about trying different combinations, having signed a number of new players.”

The former Dynamos and Zimbabwe National Football Team coach further said at least four players, namely, Alick Lungu, Clever Nkungula, Stanely Billiat and Mike Mkwate are still nursing injuries sustained last season and will not be available for selection.

Bullets are expected to showcase their new-signing Sean McBrams  on a year-long deal. The 20-year-old had stints with Spanish and Italian academies.

Zimbawean Collin Mujuru, who signed a three-year deal on Thursday, is also expected to get a run.

The last time the two teams met was in the Castel Challenge Cup in which Bullets won 4-2 on post-match penalties after playing out a one-all draw in regulation time.

Bullets, who swept all silverware last season, have won all the seven previous editions of the Charity Shield. Last year, they beat their age-old rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers 2-1.

Earlier this month NBS Bank plc doubled the shield’s sponsorship to K40 million.

This year’s proceeds will go towards promoting sanitation in schools to be identified in the Central Region.


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