The much anticipated Energem International Bonanza organised by Nyasa Big Bullets kicks off this afternoon where four teams will battle for supremacy in the three-day event.
Bullets will welcome UD Songo from Mozambique, Chicken Inn from Zimbabwe and rivals Be Forward Wanderers as part of the pre-season games in readiness the 2020 soccer season.
On Thursday, Bullets 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 and we are likely to use players who had no game time in the 2019 season so that they are able to rise up,” he told the media.
He also added that the three international matches will assist him to see how his players are faring ahead of the new season.
“It will assist us a lot to know how the players are faring and if a player fails to play in this tournament then he cannot be ready for the Super League action so this will be a good platform for the Technical Panel to assess the performance of the players before the new season,” he said.
Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas echoed Pasuwa’s sentiments, saying the pre-season tournament will help him to test the new players ahead of the new season in Zimbabwe.
“It’s good to be back in Malawi for this pre-season tournament which is very organised. Just like our friends, we will also use this bonanza to judge our new players ahead of the new season in Zimbabwe. This tournament is a very good platform for players to show their capabilities and it’s been very helpful to us,” he said.
On his part, Wanderers Assistant Coach Oscar Kaunda said he is looking forward to having a very good tournament this year.
“We are very grateful for this opportunity to play in this tournament ahead of the new season. We will definitely use new players to see how good they are before the new season and we are very much prepared to face all the three teams,” he explained.
Bullets will kick-start the tournament with a game against UD Songo on Friday before playing Chicken Inn on Saturday and their final match will be against the Nomads.
Wanderers will open their chapter with an early kickoff against Chicken Inn before playing UD Songo on Saturday and they will play their final game against Bullets on Sunday.
In the inaugural year, the tournament was won by Mozambican side’s Ferroviaro de Nampula, seconded by Wanderers, with Chicken Inn coming third whilst Bullets finished bottom of the competition.