OPINION | Lumwana Radiants on the mend – Outlook for the 2019 transitional season
Zambian Super League outfit Lumwana Radiants who are based in the North-Western province of Zambia last season survived the chop on the last day after defeating Nchanga Rangers via a 2-0 score-line after spending the better part of the second half of the season fighting relegation.
Having being promoted to the Super League in 2015, the team continues to be among the elite clubs in the top tier of Zambian football but endured a tough season last year. During the course of the season, Lumwana Radiants parted ways with, now Nakambala Leopards coach, Zeddy Sailetti after a poor run of results that saw the team struggle in the relegation waters.
The ‘Uranium boys’ had a season to forget after impressing in the 2017 Super League season when they finished in eighth position on 56 points. While in the 2018 season, the team managed to pick up only 41 points, finding the back of the net 24 times and allowing 40 goals in the entire course of the season.
2019 OUTLOOK FOR LUMWANA RADIANTS
The team has since appointed former National Assembly and Under 17 coach Oswald Mutapa to guide them in the 2019 transitional season that will kick off on 27th January. Mutapa is known for grooming young players, playing a quick passing attacking game with a good balance in defending and can prove to be a good coach especially against “big teams”.
Radiants have also invested in their squad by bringing in new players to reinforce their team and avoid a repeat of last season. The club recently announced the signing of eight new players. The most notable being the return of Gozon Mutale rejoining the club from Power Dynamos. The former Under 20 and Power Dynamos midfielder failed to command a starting eleven place at Arthur Davies Stadium in the three seasons he spent there.
Others are strikers George Tetteh Quarshie from Kabwe Youth Soccer Academy, Francis Effinah from New Monze Swallows, Victor Mubanga from Konkola Blades Fc and Terry Mwanshi who joins from demoted Nchanga Rangers. Midfielder Jacob Phiri, who was on the books of Kabwe Warriors, defender Fredrick Mwimanzi from Kabwe Youth and goalkeeper Bob Ngoy Kasua from Nchanga Rangers.
The team has played a number of pre-season encounters so far losing against Lusaka Dynamos (2-0), Circuit City FC (3-2), Zanaco (4-0) and Green Buffaloes (2-1) as the team continues to shape up for the upcoming season. They beat Police College 3-1 , Trident in two games 3-2 in the first game and 3-1 in the second game and they also beat Trident 2-1.
This looks like a season Lumwana Radiants would want to redeem themselves and maintain their Super League status after enduring a bad 2018 season.
The Zambian Super League will kickoff on 27th January, 2019 and Lumwana will have an off weekend as their week one opponents Nkana will be involved in the Charity Shield a day earlier.
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