Participating teams in the Energem International Bonanza which kicks off this afternoon have promised to give out their best in the three-day pre-season mini tournament at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Be Forward Wanderers coach Oscar Kaunda says winning the bonanza will help them atone for a bad 2019 season in which they finished without silverware.
Speaking during a press briefing in Blantyre ahead of the tournament, he said the Nomads are capable of winning the bonanza organised by rivals Nyasa Big Bullets.
“We know it will not be easy, but after finishing as runners-up last year, we want to win it this time. That would help compensate our supporters for a bad season last year,” he said.
The Nomads take on Chicken Inn in an early kick off and will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s result when they beat the Zimbabweans 1-0.
But Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas said his side is ready for the pre-season tournament
“It’s an excellent tournament. We have brought a couple of new players and the competition will help us assess them,” said the mentor, who is also Zimbabwe national team assistant coach.
The second match pits hosts Nyasa Big Bullets against UD Songo of Mozambique.
Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa said he anticipates a highly competitive game against the Mocambola outfit.
“These are games that will allow the new guys that we are bringing in to suit up and have a feel of international games,” he said.
The second day will see the local rivals swapping their opponents as Wanderers take on UD Songo in an early kick off before Bullets and Chicken Inn clash later in the afternoon.
The mini-tournament will reach a climax on Sunday with fixtures between the visitors UD Songo and Chicken Inn and rivals Bullets facing Wanderers.
Ferroviaro de Nampula, who will miss this year’s edition, were 2019 inaugural champions on goal aggregate after registering a win and two draws to finish top of the table with five points.
Wanderers finished as runners up with five points as well, rivals Bullets were third with four points while Chicken Inn were fourth with a point.
Last year, Bullets invested about K30 million into the tournament which covered accommodation, food and local transport for visiting teams.
This year Bullets have partnered Energem who bought the tournament’s naming rights at K5 million.
The organisers have set a uniform gate fee of K1 500 for open stands, K2 000 for MBC Stand, K3 000 for covered stands and K5 000 for VIP Stands.