Nkana who? Zanaco, Zesco are becoming the Kings of the Super League
It is now 20 years since Mufulira Wanderers last won a league title while since the turn of century, Kitwe giants Power Dynamos and Nkana have won four titles.
Add Red Arrows’ triumph in 2004, the rest of the MTN Super League titles has been shared between Zanaco and Zesco United showing how dominant the two sides have been.
Bankrolled by Zambia’s major electricity company, ZESCO and ZANACO bank, the two sides have dominated the local scene in the last 16 years with Zanaco winning seven titles compared to Zesco United’s five.
Zanaco first won their league title in 2002 and made back to back in 2003 before the Danny Hangunyu led Red Arrows halted that run the following year.
The bankers were not done and came back strongly in 2005 and 2006 to record another successive titles, making it four from the last 5 years.
Edward ‘Bubble’ Kangwa, Kelvin Kaindu, Nsofwa ‘Mila’ Chaswe, Evans Chisulo, Kingsely Musabula, George Kolola and current coach Numba Mumamba were the star names at Sunset Stadium and that tag of ‘Zambia B’ came along.
Sensing Zanaco’s dominance, Zesco United went on a spending spree and lured Rainford Kalaba, Owen Kaposa, and Enoch ‘Londole’ Sakala to Trade Fair grounds and the big spenders were rewarded with the next two titles [2007 and 2008] with the 2007 being Zega Mambo’s first title.
Zanaco didn’t stand still and behind the scenes, Wedson Nyirenda was blending youth with experience, and they went to East Africa and bought two Ugandans players. Henry Banda, Chisamba Lungu, Simon Silwimba and the late Bernard arrived at Sunset Stadium.
With that building 2009 title returned to Sunset Stadium though Chisambadinho didn’t not win as he left for Eastern Europe.
The following year was the Jonas Sakuwaha show as the winger was converted to striker by the late Fighton Simukonda and the Kafue native did not disappoint and he helped Zesco United to the 2010 title. Add Lottie Phiri and Jackson Mwanza to that attack!
Zanaco won the 2009 thanks to heroics of Congolese born striker Patrick Kabamba who got 20 goals in 20 games, and Zesco United got the 2010, time for winning back to back titles ended as ‘a baby born with teeth’ finally turned up in 2011.
Dinamoooo!!!!!!!!!! Aba Yellow!!!!!!!!! Adepujo! Adepujo!!!!!!!!!
Finally the Ndeke side managed to break the Zanaco and Zesco United dominance and didn’t it in style though they were a year late.
Power Dynamos is known as ‘Power 90’ after their heroics in 1990 and before the 2011 triumph, they last won it in 2000s and maybe 2010 coronation could have been more symbolic but who cares.
Joseph ‘Adepujo’ Sitali, Kennedy Mudenda, Luka Lungu and Francis ‘Mr Reliable’ Kasonde were the key players with the three youngsters Alex ‘Bazo’ Ng’onga, Felix Nyainde and Mukuka ‘Deco’ Mulenga complimenting the old guard.
The title though will also be remembered for confusion between technical advisor Fordson Kabole and head coach Beston Chambeshi. Some claim it was Kabole who was in charge while others say other wise.
From 2002, the longest drought Zanaco could stay without winning the title was only for a minimum of two years and normal service returned as the title made its way back to Sunset Stadium in 2012.
Then they had to wait for three years before winning it this year.
Ronald ‘Sate Sate’ Kampamba earned himself into the Nkana folklore as he propelled the Wusakile faithful to the stardom of Zambian football again after years of pain in the doldrums in the lower tier.
Remember the late coach Masautso Mwale. He was in-charge of Kalampa’s 12th league title.
After being so close at Green Buffaloes, George Lwandamina finally got the elusive league title in 2014 as he guided Zesco United to back to back.
It seems like it will be explosive next year on the local scene as both Nkana and Power Dynamos have the money to challenge Zanaco and Zesco United.
For now, its ‘thank you for banking with us.’
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