MATHEWS KABAMBA, Kitwe
SINCE their last league triumph in 2011, the story for Power Dynamos in the last six years has been the same: â€œso close and yet very far.â€
The Arthur Davies Stadium outfit has struggled to replicate the form that saw them bag the title with 59 points, six better than second placed Red Arrows in 2011.
Powerâ€™s other league triumphs were in 1984, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2000.
Apart from winning the league title in 1991, Power went on to lift the Nelson Mandela Cup [now Confederation Cup] beating Nigerian side BBC Lions 5-4 on aggregate.
In the last five seasons, Power have on four occasions managed to finish in the top four earning them a reputation of â€˜always the bridesmaid and never the bride.â€™
This year the club will clock 20 years under the sponsorship of Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC).
Three league titles, in the last 20 years is not a good record for a team of Powerâ€™s calibre and CEC chairman Hanson Sindowe did not mince his words at the teamâ€™s awards gala last December.
â€œAs your sponsors and number one supporter, CEC were expecting a lot from you this season [last year] but somehow the top prize has once again eluded us. This is the worst thing that can happen when a big team begins to seem comfortable in simply hanging in the leagueâ€™s top four,â€ Sindowe said.
Last season, Power finished fourth with 67 points, 14 behind champions Zanaco.
Club chairman Bobbline Cheembela said his executive will work round the clock to ensure the team responds favourably to the sponsorâ€™s directive this season and beyond.
â€œA fourth place finish is short of expectation from our fans and our sponsors. With this background, we can only pledge to do better the coming season,â€ Cheembela said.
Coach Dan Kabwe and his assistants Anderson Phiri and Alex Namazaba are eager to bring back the glory days at Arthur Davies Stadium.
â€œThose are the targets and as a team we have to work hard to meet those targets,â€ Kabwe said.
This will be Kabweâ€™s first full season in his second stint at the Ndeke club.
Kabweâ€™s first spell at Power lasted less than a year when he joined from Swazi outfit Mhlume United where he won the 2000 Swazi Cup.
In their quest for glory this year, the club has since recruited Mufulira Wanderers defender Allan Kamwanga, Mwelwa Sakala from Zanaco, Michael Banda from Sharps Academy and striker Lyson Sikaonga from Roan United.
Another acquisition is midfielder Godfrey Ngwenya from Kabwe Warriors and defender Hichani Himoonde, a 2012 Africa Cup winner.
Power are still negotiating to resign striker Alex Ngâ€™onga from Gabonese side CF Mounana.
They will however be without last seasonâ€™s club top scorer Patson Daka who has trekked to Austria while former Chipolopolo midfielder William Njovu has left for Warriors.
The club will bank on Fwayo Tembo, Kelvin Mubanga, Kennedy Mudenda and Gozon Mutale for the top prize.
Others who could lead Power to glory are Jimmy Ndhlovu, skipper Francis Kasonde, Billy Mutale, Govenda Simwala, Martin Phiri and Julius Situmbeko.
Full name: Power Dynamos Football
Nicknames: Power 90, Aba Yellow
Ground: Arthur Davies Stadium
CEO: Ricky Mamfunda
Chairman: Bobbline Cheembela
Coach: Dan Kabwe
MATHEWS KABAMBA, Kitwe