Analysis: TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA
AT THE beginning of the 2017 FAZ/MTN super division season, all the 20 clubs had faith in their trainers.
However, as the league progressed, axes began faillng on some coaches every month.
By close of the 2017 soccer season, about 11 coaches were either sent on forced leave or dismissed for allegedly failing to win games.
The coaches who were red-carded include Enos Silwimba of Konkola Blades, who has since migrated to North-Western Province to be head coach at FQM Football Club.
Bruce Mwape parted company with Nchanga Rangers, and 12-time Zambian football Champions Nkana fired Zedi Saileti, who was replaced by Chipolopolo assistant coach Beston Chambeshi. On the other hand, Saileti packed his bags and headed to Lumwana Radiants.
Kabwe Warriors were not left out as they asked Chintu Kampamba to leave, with NAPSA Stars Football Club sending Tenant Chilumba, the 1994 Africa Cup hero.
City of Lusaka showed Elijah Chikwanda an early exit, thinking they would survive relegation. Mufulira Wanderers, the nine-time champions, also dismissed Wilson Mwale and brought in Justin Chinyama, but the team was demoted at the end of the season.
Zesco United Football Club were equally caught in the web as their coach Zlatko Krimpotic left towards the end of the season, leaving Tenant Chembo to guide the team to the 2018 FAZ/MTN championship.
I would like to commend the following teams for respecting the contracts of their coaches and believing in them.
The first team that comes to mind is Buildcon Football Club of Ndola, who started and ended with Hicham Jadrane. Hicham just left after his contract expired and has since been replaced by Arena Gugliemo from Italy.
Power Dynamos, Zanaco, Forest Rangers, Green Buffaloes, Lusaka Dynamos, Nakambala, Nkwazi and Red Arrows football clubs all tried by all means to have faith in their coaches.
Football clubs should invest heavily in their players and coaches before the season starts in order to avoid heaping blame on a coach each time a team loses.
We have teams like Zanaco and Zesco who are doing everything that a coach and player can dream of, and any poor performance by these two teams can lead to sacking of the coaches.
The Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) should have teeth to bite and protect coaches. The coaches need protection with valid contracts, whose copies the association must have.
In as much as sponsors and executives want positive results in the short term, it is important to have long-term results so that a coach settles and understands a team’s philosophy.
I feel it is only at national team level where a coach may be fired in the short term because he has the best players at his disposal, and failure to qualify the team to the World Cup or Africa Cup should result in dismissal.
To newly promoted teams like Kitwe United, Monze Swallows, National Assembly and Kabwe Youth Academy, it is my prayer that they have put in place all necessary logistics to make coaches deliver as they face big boys like Zesco, Zanaco, Nkana and Buildcon in the 2018 season
In the 2018 season. SuperSport has pumped in US$1,102,500 for televising rights.
Last season, teams in the Premier Division went away with US$30,0000 (K300,000).
As the season starts, I am wishing the 20 teams all the best and may the best and well-prepared team win the 2018 championship.
The author is former Konkola Blades under-16 player.
Analysis: TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA