Big season ahead for Wanderers as Harrison says winning Airtel sets a platform for the team

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By Antony Isaiah Jr:…….

Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Head Coach, Mark Harrison, dubbed Messiah said winning the Airtel Top-8 Cup trophy is the good platform for the team going forward as he is trying to rebuild a team capable of challenging for titles.

Mark Simon Harrison became the first Might Mukuru Wanderers’ Coach to beat Nyasa Big Bullets in a Cup game since Elia Kananji in 2015 in the Carlsberg Cup as they beat their cross-town rivals 5-3 on penalties.

Nyasa Big Bullets Centre-back Kesten Simbi rifled over the bar his penalty while Vincent Nyangulu took the decisive penalty to give the Nomads their first silverware since 2017.

In the post match interviews, Harrison said penalties are lottery and he was happy that he and his team have grapped the trophy setting a new platform ahead of the 2023 Football Season.

“It was difficult game,” said Harrison. “First half they had a better game, they had a lot of possession and in the second half we knew the game would open and we knew when the game is open we brought players, and I think in the end, we possibly deserve a win. It was hard for both teams. If one team was to lose, I think it was hard to accept it by either side. Penalties is a lottery, its difficult but we came through, we got the results and we have won the Cup.

“We have set a platform for Mighty [Mukuru] Wanderers to look forward. There was a drought in the last four three years and the trophy [its what] they have been desperate for and we have got it and now we have to build, next season gonna be a big season and we to look forward. But now are proud of players, proud of Technical team and am proud of the Club from the President right down to the security, everybody has been fantastic and this is to the President because the guy loves the Club.”

Mighty Mukuru Wanderers have won the tournament without conceding a goal- keeping cleansheets in four games. They beat Mafco FC 4-0 on aggregate and Blue Eagles 2-0 before playing out a barren draw against Nyasa Big Bullets before winning it on penalties.

However, despite the tremendous performance that they have had in the competition, Mark said they are way far from Challenging Nyasa Big Bullets for league title.

“Look, we finished 20 points behind [Nyasa Big] Bullets which is a big gap to close. You know, expectations, we have won the Cup today but we have to be realistic, if we say we are going to win the league next year might be a big ask. We got to rebuild, as a squad of players, we are not good enough, we didn’t win the league so we are not good enough. We have to rebuild, we have to strengthen we know that, not to rebuild, that’s a wrong word but we have to strengthen.

“We are trying to that at this present moment, and if we do that I think we can compete, whether we can win it, I don’t know I cannot tell you this time [about] next year, but obviously trying to get things changed,” he added.

Mark said watching Nyasa Big Bullets gave him a good homework on how he could get better over Kalisto Pasuwa’s boys.

“We have watched Bullets three or four times, we knew that they would come out stronger in the first half, we have changed the way we play since I took over. We needed to get to the half-time with cleansheet which we did and we knew that in the second half, the game would open and when the game opens, then we play,” added Harrison.

Mark have started strengthening the team as he has already signed two players, Karonga United’s attacking midfielder, Mphatso Kamanga and Civo Service United’s talented striker, Christopher Jakama Kumwembe. They are also close to snatch Emmanuel Nyirenda from Mighty Waka Waka Tigers.

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