Not many people will fancy them and none again gave them a chance to win any silverware last season but they are ready to repeat the trick.
Central Region sides Blue Eagles and Masters Security Football Clubs have set up the hype ahead of the much awaited 2019 Eco Bank Charity Shield tournament scheduled for this weekend with one voice thus bringing the trophy to the Central Region.
The charity shield which was introduced in 2016 has in previous years been played in the capital city and for the first time, the competition will be staged at Kamuzu Stadium in the Commercial City of Blantyre.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Blue Eagles Spokesperson Steve Kumalonje told Nyasa Times on Thursday they have done everything to grab the charity shield.
“We are very prepared for the Charity Shield tournament and our target is to win the Cup and bring it to Area 30. That will set the rhythm for our 2019 Season” said Kumalonje.
Reminded on how they tormented Nyasa Big Bullets in the Airtel Top 8 final last year and that they are likely to face a hostile atmosphere in Blantyre, Kumalonje said the players have been drilled already.
“Hostile atmosphere if any, is the impetus that drives forward any athelete or player. The boys are trained to deal with it right in [Police] training and in the friendly matches that we have played so far. Hence the boys don’t expect anything new” he explained.
Eagles beat Bullets 1-0 through a late controversial penalty goal scored by Stewart Mbunge that led to ugly scenes of violence from alleged Bullets fans who attacked the referee accusing him of handing the corps a dubious spot kick.
On his part, Masters Security Chairman Alfred Gangata briefly but confidently said: “We are going to grab the charity shield cup”.
The pairing of the four teams will be a repeat of 2018 Carlsberg and Airtel Top 8 cup finals as Masters have been drawn against Mighty Be Forward Wanderers while Eagles face Nyasa Big Bullets.
The opening match on Saturday will be between Masters and Wanderers in an early kick off before another big one later in the day involving Big Bullets the Corps Blue Eagles FC.
The Wanderers, Masters promises to be a bloody encouter after the Nomads snatched Masters two key players Nigerian forward Babatunde Adepoju and skipper Francis Mkonda.
Winners of match one and match two will battle it out in the finals on Sunday while the losers will meet in a fight for the third place.
Wanderers qualified for the four team charity shied after winning the Fisd Challenge Cup, Eagles for grabbing the Top 8 Cup, Masters for grabbing the Carsberg Cup while Bullets lifted the elite league championship.
Main organisers Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has since appealed to all soccer lovers to buy the tickets in advanced to purchased them at a cheaper price.
For each day, advanced tickets for open stands are being sold at K2,000, MBC stands tickets at K3,000, K5,000 for covered stands tockets while VIP tickets are going at tickets.
According to FAM Commercial Director Limbani Matola, on match day, tickets will be sold at K2,500 for open stands, K4,000 for MBC stands, K8,000 for covered stands and finally K10,000 for VIP stand.
Matola confirmed on Friday that all is set for the tournament.
The People’s team Nyasa Big Bullets has dominated the charity shield since its inception.
They beat Be Forward Wanderers in the inaugural final (2016) and in the 2017 final they defeated Kamuzu Barracks (KB).
Last season they defended and retained the trophy after thrushing Silver Strikers with an emphatic 3-0 victory at the Bingu National Stadium thanks to a Chiukepo Msowoya brace and a Precious Phiri strike.
Eco Bank are the official sponsors for this year’s tournament and they have pumped in K12 million.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :