PASUWA: Bullets coach cites Sundowns as CAF Champions League benchmark
FCB Nyasa Big Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa has used an example of Mamelodi Sundowns’ quality to explain the CAF Champions League high standards which the Malawi champions should expect.
Pasuwa spoke to the local press in Malawi before the TNM Super League champions’ departure for Equatorial Guinea where they face Dragon FC in the Champions League preliminary round first-leg match on 20 August 20.
The former Zimbabwe mentor said his team badly needed to beef up their squad with quality international players to replace the likes of striker Babatunde Adepoju.
“We had Babatunde. He was bought by Venda Academy Football Club; a team which is playing in the lower division in South Africa. Remember, we have got Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa,” he said.
The Nigerian left the Blantyre-based club to sign for the Motsepe Foundation Championship team last season soon after winning the Golden Boot Award in the Malawi league.
Pasuwa bemoaned his team’s failure to hold onto experienced players such as Adepoju and former captain Chimwemwe Idana who now plays for Silver Strikers on loan.
The former Dynamos coach has established himself with the 16-time Malawi league champions after winning four consecutive league titles.
However, Pasuwa has failed to transfer the domestic dominance onto the international stage in three attempts.
Bullets face Dragon FC at Estadio La Libertad in Bata City which is Equatorial Guinea’s largest city with a population estimated at 200 000.
The Malawi champions have struggled to translate their local league dominance onto the continental scene, as they previously bowed out in the preliminary round.
Bullets chalked up their best Champions League performance in 2004 when they swept aside SC Villa of Uganda, Zanaco of Zambia and previous champions, Orlando Pirates of South Africa on the way to the group stages.
Bullets will host Dragon at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe in the return match a week later.
The overall winner between Bullets and Dragon will have a date with TP Mazembe in the second preliminary round.