Nyasa Big Bullets brought the curtain down on the 2022 season at the club’s annual awards red carpet gala on Friday night.
The event, held at the Comesa Hall in Blantyre, was attended by players from the main team, reserves and women’s, technical staff, administrative staff, sponsors and other dignitaries who have played a role in shaping the brand into the formidable force in Malawi.
The guests gathered together to honour those who made significant contributions to the Bullets’ quest for silverware in what was a challenging season where the main team retained the TNM Super League, the FDH Bank Cup and the Charity Shield.
To make way for new faces, Kalisto Pasuwa released eleven players, promoted four from the Reserves, and added three new faces to the team ahead of the just-ended season.
Adapting to new methods and systems with new players needs time to gel properly. Still, the players surprised many with a top-notch performance in what was a hectic season as the team participated in three domestic competitions and the CAF Champions League.
In assessing what has essentially been a season of transition, during which new coaching methods and playing combinations take a while to bed in, it was necessary to recognise the efforts and unrelenting commitment of the warriors who wore the red & white jersey with pride and fought gallantly for the Bullets badge this season.
Several players were nominated for various awards which included; Goalkeeper of the Season, Defender of the Season, Midfielder of the Season, Discovery of the Season and Player of the Season.
On the night, Gomezgani Chirwa received the Player of the Season award. He came good when it mattered most and weighed in with some crucial goals and assists to help the team when the going was tough. This was his third award in a row, having won the Player of the Month of October and Goal of the Month of November.
The Defender of the Year award went to Precious Sambani. The left-back, who returned to the field of play after missing most of the previous season due to an injury, scored seven goals and had several assists in a campaign where Bullets dominated domestic football.
Clever Mkungula, who made thirteen appearances in all competitions, won the Goalkeeper of the Season award, beating fellow teammates Richard Chimbamba and Rabson Chiyenda.
The award for the Best Midfielder of the season went to Ernest Petro. His drive, determination and ceaseless quest to improve epitomized Bullets under Pasuwa in our remarkable success.
Patrick Mwaungulu was named the Discovery of the Season. The 21-year-old had 23 assists and 10 goals across all the competitions this season. He was one of the best performers for The People’s Team in the just-ended season after making more than 32 appearances in his first season after he got promoted from the reserves side.
Babatunde Adepoju was voted Striker of the Season. Since he arrived at Bullets last year, the Nigerian has been key in the success of the team. In the 2022 campaign, he scored 23 goals in all competitions; 17 in the TNM Super League, five in the FDH Bank Cup and one in the Airtel Top 8.
Bullets reserves forward Chikumbutso Salima was voted as the reserves’ Players’ Best Player of the Season.
Details of all winners
Player of the Season – Gomezgani Chirwa
Goalkeeper of the Season – Clever Mkungula
Defender of the Season – Precious Sambani
Midfielder of the Season – Ernest Petro
Discovery of the Season – Patrick Mwaungulu
Striker of the Season – Babatunde Adepoju
Bullets also recognised three club legends Kinnah Phiri, Lawrence Waya and Kanjeza Kamwendo, who were decorated with Memorable Legacy Awards.
Head coach Kalisto Pasuwa and reserves coach Enos Chatama were also recognized for the tremendous work they have been doing to transform their respective squads. Pasuwa was also bestowed with the club president’s award for winning the TNM Super League for four straight seasons, the Airtel Top 8 last season and the FDH Bank Cup this season.