Wednesday, April 17, 2024

2015 MTN/FAZ Super League Preview

The 2015 MTN/FAZ Super League commences on the 14th of March after the Charity Shield final which saw Champions Zesco United beating Power Dynamos 3-1 at Nkana Stadium on Saturday 7th March 2015. A lot of sparks are expected in this edition which will see the return of the legendary fighters Mighty Mufurila Wanderers to the elite league.

After a long stay in the second tier, ‘Abena Milambo’ comes back with their adage ‘Maite iwina ichungolo’. It will be interesting to see how the Mufurila giants will use their late winning goal tradition as they fight to regain their lost glory at the big stage. Another interesting item is the return of Elite Lusaka Dynamos to the Super League; will the former Queensmead giant killers who produced some of the best talent in the past keep their tradition and launch new stars on the scene? Promotion experts High Flying Nkwazi and Forest Rangers are back, will the two sides avoid relegation this time around? The impact of the influx of foreign players in the ZSL is another talking point this season, will they help raise the standard of our game or not? Zambia’s fiercest derby, ‘The Kitwe derby’ also dabbed the ‘The Kopala derby’ between bitter rivals Nkana and Power Dynamos will be biggest encounter, in the last two seasons the two neighbors who are separated by the dual carriage way have drawn twice with the Wusakile giants wining the other two games. The 2015 Kopala derby will bring more drama as the two rivals fight for the bragging rights.

Title favorites

Last season’s top four Zesco United, Power Dynamos, Zanaco and Nkana will be automatic favorites for the title this season. Zesco have invested heavily in their team by acquiring foreign internationals David Odhiambo (Kenya),Olu Owafemi (Nigeria),Juma Luzio (Tanzania) and local stars midfielder Misheck Chaila from Kabwe Warriors and striker Humphrey Maseneko from Konkola Blades in a bid to reinforce the squad that won a double last season. The return of former international Jonas Sakuhawa on loan from TP Mazembe is also expected to add more fire upfront for the Zambian Champions who also have international Kondwani Mutonga, Jacob Banda, 2014 top scorer Jackoson Mwanza and former internationals Justin Zulu and Winston Kalengo on their books as they will look forward to defend the title.

Power Dynamos look stronger this season, they have maintained almost the entire team that gave away a chance of winning the 2014 title after dropping vital points in the last four games of the season. With the return of hit man Luka Lungu from Don Bosco in Congo DR, international defender Christopher Munthali from Nkana and the acquisition of midfielders Kelvin Mubanga (Nkana) and Larry Bwalya (K stars/Nchanga Rangers), defenders Derrick Mwansa (Nkwazi/Nkana) and White Mwanambaba (NAPSA Stars) and striker and Felix Sunzu Jr (Green Buffaloes) Power Dynamos are expected to put up a good fight for the 2015 season honors with their squad also comprising the likes of international goal custodian Joshua Titima, skipper Thomas Nyirenda, Govenda Simwala, Lawrence Chungu, Alex N’gonga, Jimmy Ndhlovu, Kennedy Mudenda and former international Ignatius Lwipa.

After failing to win the 2014 title on the last day after crumbling 4-0 at the hands of Zambia Air Force sponsored side Red Arrows, Sensational Zanaco will be looking for a better season for them to put aside their 2014 final day humiliation. The bankers have maintained the core of their 2014 squad which was built around the likes of Rodrick Kabwe, Ziyo Tembo, Maunga Kabuku, Henry Banda, Fackson Kapumbu and they have acquired striker Nawa Nawa and Nigerian international Utibe Achimpong .However changes on the technical team will have a big say on how Zanaco will challenge for the title, new coach Numba Mumamba who has replaced Aggrey Chiyangi after being a long serving assistant coach at Sunset will need to prove if he deserves the promotion and ready for the challenge.

Nkana Football Club begins the life after 2014 player of the season and consistent goal scorer Ronald Sate Sate Kampamba who recently clinched a professional deal in Egypt. The 12 times league winners have undergone what looks like an overhaul after losing a number of other key players from their 2014 and 2013 title wining squad among them striker Festus Mbewe, midfielders Francis Simwanza, Kelvin Mubanga and Skipper Sydney Kalume, defender Masauso Zimba, Christopher Munthali, Derrick Mwansa and Billy Mwanza who has been given a coaching role. Among the new arrivals in Wusakile are strikers Djunese Kanda, Josphat Kasusu, Felix Nyaende, defenders Austin Muwowo and Kayawe Kapota and goal keeper Scott Ngokene. Most scarlet dressed Wusakile fanatics believe they have formed a strong squad which will challenge for honors this season with the likes of international Donashano Malama, Joseph Sitali, Simon Bwalya ,Maybin Chishimba, Claude Bwalya and goalie Rabson Mchelenganga still part of their squad. However, Coach Beston Chambeshi’s boys will need to gel early enough for them to keep the momentum and join the title race.

Surprise package

Green Buffaloes, Red Arrows, Napsa Stars and Nchanga Rangers will form the surprise package this season. After struggling and failing to be among the top four last season, these teams are expected to fight for the top finish. At Green Buffaloes, new coach Wedson Nyirenda is one of ZSL’s successful mentors and his experience at this level, the Zambia Army side is expected to be a transformed team this season. Nyirenda has recruited strikers Lottie Phiri and Signs Chibambo and midfielder Kangwa Chileshe from Zesco United to help him bring back GBFC to the top.

Should the Airmen come back with the momentum which saw them thump Zanaco 4-0 to survive relegation on the last day last season, they will definitely be the team to watch this season. Arrows have made good acquisitions in the likes of Festus Mbewe and Francis Simwanza among others and they had a good pre-season training which saw them travel to Tanzania where they played a number of top clubs.

The Pensioners had a good season in 2014 missing out on a top four finish on the last day. Despite losing new signee Elson Mkandawire who recently died in a car accident, Napsa have assembled a good squad which is expected to keep the pace and fight for a respectable position in the 2015 season.

Brave Nchanga Rangers had an inconsistent season in 2014 due to the exodus which saw them lose over nine players from their 2013 squad. With a senior coach in former Chipolopolo coach Fighton Simukonda who is capable of discovering and developing rising stars; Rangers are likely to have a better season in 2015.

Spoilers

Sharp Konkola Blades, Green Eagles, Nakambala Leopards and National Assembly will spoil the party for any team at any time as they fight to keep their places in the elite League. Home ground advantage will be key for Blades, Eagles and Nakambala while Assembly will be a difficult team to beat and any venue. Remember Mighty Mufurila Wanderers will do everything possible to avoid relegation, Lusaka Dynamos might be giant killers with their skillful and young squad, Nkwazi and Forest Rangers will this time around be fighting to cement their stay in the Super League. This is will create competition and bring shock results which will make the title race and the relegation battle interesting.

Verdict

The 2015 season is expected to be full of drama and excitement .The league will be highly competitive and the winner is most likely to be known on the last day. There will be a fierce relegation battle which is likely to shock most teams. Be part of the fan by filing the stadia to the rafters and support your favorite team with passion

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29 Comments

  1. Nice article. Looking forward to some really good news on the home front. Ba Zanaco!!!! Worried about the coaching decision for my adopted club of choice. Having an inexperienced coach is going to be tough, but hopefully we can challenge for the title this season.

  2. Imwe, why is there only one club in Lusaka that has true potential? Yonse aya are from Coppalla. I understand because of the history with the copper mines and ZCCM, but surely there should be more teams coming out of Lusaka with firepower.

  3. Sponsorship is biased , cooperate world is not doing us a better job, may be its because of the performance of our national team at under 17 to senior level, or may be its because of our stubborn Kalu who can only run the FA remotely .

    • Noble, corporate sponsorship is a club level admin thing. FAZ have done their part in securing TV deals with supersport, but it is up to the clubs to secure real sponsorships i.e. kits, salaries, advertising, gate receipts. What is sad is that clubs have not taken to becoming part of their respective communities by being involved in stuff like charity work, or public appearances, even their Kits for the next season should be huge events so they can drive merchandizing sales. The local clubs are doing better, but they seriously need to diversify their financial approach.

  4. The performance of the national teams is disgusting. We may be moving in the right direction by qualifying to these events but let’s face facts we are nowhere near the right standard. We’ve failed to beat any serious team in africa this year an indication our local league is very weak and sub standard.

  5. And Zesco draws 1-1 against AS Kaloum at Levy stadium. And it will be a tall-order for Zesco to win in Guinea (though this match will be played elsewhere in West Africa due to ebola in Guinea)

  6. Nigeria 2-2 Civ
    Senegal 4-3 congo

    Nigeria and Senegal through to the world cup.
    Ivorians can wail all they want, they defeated this Naija team in 2013 on penalties to win Caf U-17 cup. Now they won’t taste the U-20 world cup. Revenge is very Sweet. Congrats Flying Eagles, Senegal, Mali and Ghana…
    All west African countries in the semi-final and Africa’s hope in New Zealand.

  7. Is it not funny.. Congo last bottom of the group even though they came with players that played for their national team in Afcon and what of their coaching Crew Italian coach and French technical director, their only trophy is just a single point (1pts).

    Stop drafting old men(senior team players) to U-20 tournaments, the talented young talents from other nation will only embarrass them….

  8. Because of the pride of Nigerians and Ghanains,I’m throwing my wait behind Mali and Senegal. During the penalty shoot out at afcon inthe final,I got irritated with Andre Ayew’s boastiful attitude.Don’t insult the crocodile while one leg is still inthe water. I was praying for the dark stars to loose and I enjoyed seing Ayew crying. Humble pipo lyk wilfried Bonny are the ones who deserve to win trophies.Iv been a Ghana supporter for a long time not lately due to their attitude. It is attitude that determins altitude. Humble yourself so that God can exalt u.

  9. Martinez who cares if you don’t support us. our support base is even too much so we are finding ways to take some people out and thankfully you volunteer. you supported your team and they couldnt Manage a goal in two matches without a point so what different will it make if your throw your support behind Mali and Senegal. mind you Ghana has never been to the world cup without qualifying to the semi final.

  10. martinez,this is international tournament so support your country lol,or are you ashamed of them? kikiki..supporting mali does not make you a malian..the only team to support is your country because no other country knows you.if your support count,you wouldnt have remain with 0pt..and with ayew,atleast he had a medal,what about your team? first round exit.no one knows and is afraid of zambia even though you won 2012 afcon,but every soccer lover knows ghana and is afraid to meet us.kiki

  11. in january this year,zambia national team got eliminated in the first round of afcon.
    in february this year,zambia u17 got eliminated in the first round of this same caf tournament.
    in march this same year,zambia u20 got eliminated in the first round of african youth championship.
    in april this year,zambia u23 will hopefully get eliminated by nigeria in the all nations qualifies.
    zambia is indeed a power~house of african football.

  12. Martinez.. You have all the rights to support any team you want but it won’t change anything… A whole 170 million Nigerians are supporting the flying eagles, so no one cares if you don’t support them..
    If you like don’t support the ghanians, if you like support them nothing will shake them if they are destined to win the cup.

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