Super League of Malawi (SULOM) has announced that Civo Stadium in Lilongwe will host the opening match of the 2018 TNM Super League football season on Saturday, April 14.
Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, the defending champions will kick off the season with a match against Silver Strikers who hold the Airtel Top 8 Cup for 2017/2018 soccer season.
This will be the second time the two sides will be meeting as they first met in the 2018 FAM Charity Shield Cup which was held at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe where Nyasa Big Bullets lifted the trophy for the third consecutive time since its introduction in 2016.
SULOM said there were delays in releasing the fixtures and announcement of the venue for the opening match since most teams, especially Blantyre based teams could not come out clearly on the stadiums they will be using as their home grounds.
“The season will kick off with matches between Wanderers and Silver Strikers. Everything pertaining to the fixtures was finalized last year but it has taken too long for us to release the fixtures because teams could not come out clearly on home grounds,” Williams Banda, SULOM General Secretary said.
However, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, Silver Strikers General Secretary urged his boys not to get too excited and belittle Wanderers since they may surprise them with a killer punch during the opener.
“We beat Wanderers in the Charity Shield. I know Wanderers will be coming in the competition as underdogs in this game because we beat them last time we met but I have told my boys not to get big headed but take this game and every other game to come as a final,” Nyirenda said.
On the other hand, Wanderers Team Manager, Steven Madeira said preparations for the opening fixture were going on well and that they were ready to restore their image from the shame of losses.
“Yes we are coming from two straight losses but that is not an indication that Silver will also beat us this time, we are rectifying the problems that we encountered in Lilongwe. The boys promising that we will make it,” Madeira said.
However, Humphreys Mvula former Wanderers chairman and football analyst cautioned Wanderers to put their house in order especially with the technical panel and the relationship between players, the executive and supporters if they were to win their forthcoming game and remain in contention for the rest of the season.
“There are seemingly differences between the executive, players and supporters. Wanderers have to take a closer look at their technical panel on the issue of fielding of players and game preparation. Wanderers need to find a stable first eleven and a fruitful formation,” Mvula said.
Nine matches have been lined up for the opening of the season as follows: on Saturday rookies TN Stars will entertain Blue Eagles at Kasungu Stadium while newcomers Karonga United will host Azam Tigers as Red Lions travel to Chitowe to meet Dwangwa United with MZUNI shrugging it out with Nchalo United at Mzuzu Stadium.
On Sunday April 15, the TNM action continues with the 2016 Champions Kamuzu Barracks hosting Nyasa Big Bullets at Civo Stadium. In Mzuzu, Moyale Barracks will play Nchalo United, MAFCO will take on fellow soldiers Red Lions at Chitowe Stadium, Masters Security will lock horns with Civil Sporting Club at Dedza Stadium.