Nyasa Big Bullets pre-season show hits Blantyre this weekend as the Energem International Bonanza returns with four teams ready to battle for supremacy in the three-day tournament at Kamuzu Stadium.
In its second year running, Bullets will welcome UD Songo from Mozambique, Chicken Inn from Zimbabwe and local rivals Be Forward Wanderers as part of the pre-season games in readiness for the 2020 soccer season.
On Thursday, head coach Kalisto Pasuwa spoke highly of the tournament, saying it will give him an opportunity to use players who were not active in the previous season.
“Having international teams coming to play with us in this tournament will give us the opportunity to bring in combinations to see if the players who weren’t having game time last season can adapt to our system of play.
“This will also be an opportunity for some of the players who were mostly injured last season to play so that we have the same energy levels before the start of the new season,” said the coach during a press conference in Blantyre on Thursday.
“We are likely to use players who had no game time in the 2019 season so that they are able to rise up,” the Zimbabwean explained.
He also added that the three international matches will assist him to see how his players are fairing ahead of the new season as he will also be assessing new players that have been on trials at the club, including winger Misheck Selemani from Karonga United and former BE Forward Wanderers striker Zicco Mkanda.
“It will assist us alot to know how the players are fairing. If a player fails to play in this tournament then he cannot be ready for the [TNM] Super League action, so this will be a good platform for the technical panel to asses the performance of the players before the new season,” he added.
Bullets will kick-start the tournament with a game against UD Songo at 15:00hrs on Friday before playing Chicken Inn 24 hours later.
The People’s Team will then play its final match against Wanderers FC on Sunday afternoon in the bonanza that will be played in a round-robin format where the team that will accumulate more points will be crowned champions.
In other matches, Wanderers will face Chicken Inn in the opening match of the tournament at 12:30hrs on Friday before taking on UD Songo 24 hours later. On Sunday, UD Songo will face Chicken Inn, before the Blantyre derby, the first in 2020.
Mozambican side Ferroviário de Nampula won the championship in 2019, seconded by Wanderers, with Chicken Inn coming third whilst host Bullets finished bottom of the competition.