Two-week break

Sulom has says the TNM Super League will break for two weeks after the conclusion of the first-round yesterday.

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary (GS) Williams Banda yesterday said the second round is set to roll into action on August 31.

He said the transfer window, which opened on July 31, will run up to August 29.

Nomads taking on Bullets in the first round

Banda described the first round as competitive “despite few challenges on patronage due to elections and post-election issues which affected gate revenue”.

On his part, the top-flight football league runners’ president Tiya Somba Banda said: “The tempo from the kick-off in Kasungu didn’t dry up until the last kick of the first round.

“In the first place, we would like to applaud the supporters for gracing the games in an orderly manner. The winners celebrated gracefully and the those who lost accepted the results.

“We promised the nation to take the game beyond the stadia and we did just that. Games are now on TV [both DStv and GoTV], including the now trending Facebook live streaming. In the long-run this is the stepping stone for tapping the commercial rights of the game.

“We promised to engage and involve the 12th player [supporter] more in this term and we are glad to see fans choosing their player of the season at the same time winning lucrative prizes and we believe going forward this is the avenue that makes the league truly popular and beyond the stadium, in the same terrain improving the commercial value of it.”

On the pitch, Somba Banda applauded Wanderers for finishing tops in the first round.

“Nomads striker Babatunde [Adepoju] has already surpassed the 12 goals mark and it’s promising that this season we might see someone challenging the Ganizani Malunga 17-year record.

“The competition is quite big across the table and it’s good for the game. We look forward to the second round,” said the Sulom boss

While acknowledging that the first round was competitive and exciting, some teams said there were also a number of challenges.

Rookies Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman said officiation left a lot to be desired.

“What we observed was that match officials did not take a firm line and whenever we played big teams, the referees threw their weight behind them for fear of their fans.

“The other thing was that whenever, we played away, there was somehow that element of favouring the home team,” he said.

Osman, whose side has finished 13th with 13 points, hinted at beefing up their squad during the transfer window.

“We are banking on big teams to loan us some players they are not featuring.”

Nomads chairperson Gift Mkandawire said they were impressed with the team’s resurgence.

“We played about 13 games without a loss and that was awesome. We have set our standards high and we are hoping to continue from where we left in the second round.

“That said, patronage was a notable challenge. Low patronage is slowly killing our game and Sulom as well as clubs need to come up with strategies to address that,” he said.

Mkandawire also said they intend to beef up their squad with a striker and midfielder, “but that will depend on the technical panel’s report on the first round”.

Silver Strikers GS Lawrence Yobe said they lacked consistency in the first round. “We did not perform the way we had expected and we will have a review to see where we went wrong and we are likely to sign a few more players,” he said

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