Whatever happened to Roan United? Is the question that every soccer lover asks time and time again after seeing the team that was known for playing beautiful football now plying trade in the lower division. Nicknamed ‘stylish‘ for their style of play, the team that once produced some of the best talents of the 21st century, which includes the likes of Noah Chivuta and Collins Mbesuma is based in Luanshya, A mining town of the Copperbelt.
Roan United was relegated to Division One in 2014 in what proved to be the most torrid time for the team that was known for showing resilience whenever they pitched up against the big boys of the league, waved goodbye to premier league football even when they had a lot of talented footballers.
Going back to 2012 season reminds me of the most pulsating game Roan played at Sunset stadium against the then leaders Zanaco FC who required an equaliser to earn a point against them in that entertaining encounter. The goal that lingers in most of the fans’ mind saw Clatous Chama producing an exquisite pass that picked Lyson Sikaonga to give Roan United a 2-1 lead before a Zanaco equaliser.
Kafubu Stadium has contributed a lot of talent to the Zambia premier League then and now as some former Roan United players are still sparkling for other clubs. The likes of Aubrey Chamulwanda now at Mufulira Wanderers together with his compatriots Platin Ngowani and Victor Kashitu dubbed as Di Maria by Kafubu faithful, COSAFA cup winner the diminutive and talented defender Masautso Zimba who plays for Forest ‘malembe’ alongside his former teammates at Roan United Laurent Muma and Daglous Muwowo.
To Lyson Sikaonga who currently plays for Buchi Boys Kitwe United, one of his memorable moments can be traced back to 2014 when he scored a hat trick at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium against Kabwe Warriors with Roan coming out with a 4-1 victory.
Players worth mentioning during the time Roan United were relegated includes Derrick Kabwe and Arthur Kaseloki (Dunga) who both played for Dynamos FC of Zimbabwe. The likes of Perry Sinkala, Passmore Kangwa, Kelvin Muzungu, Floyd Phiri, goal minders Steven Kabwe and Evans Mwewa (Shombo) , Jean Lomani, Joseph Kamalondo, Given Sinyangwe now at Nkana FC, Tom Bakala the most creative Midfielder whose style of play is compared to Shedan Shaqiri of Liverpool, Ben Mwanza a striker turned defender, Rodgers Kamwandi, Collins Nyoka now assistant coach at Ndola based division One side Gomes FC.
One of the most passionate moment at Kafubu Stadium was on 28th April 2012 when the then promising star of the season Kameta Mutambo broke his leg in a game against NAPSA stars and he was ruled out for Six months and after an injury he went back to Forest Rangers in 2013. Other players who made their names at Kafubu Stadium are Anos Tembo who later Joined Green Eagles and fan favourite Zachariah Simukonda together with Graven Chitalu also known as Killer.
The most frustrating question is, will Luanshya ever experience the stylish football they so claimed to have enjoyed? The answer is, Only time will tell but not anytime soon, if not in this generation then the one to come where none of us will be there to describe it for the young one as the team is struggling even when they are playing Division One football.