By Punch Chama
I recently stumbled on an old post by one Zanaco fan in Nkandu Kataya who wrote in early 2017 that Zesco and Zanaco would dominate the Zambian Super league and it was a little unfair to pit them against the likes of Real Nakonde.
It was an interesting insight and I have to agree because we have clubs in the league whose Sponsorship is K30 million a year competing against some clubs who cant even raise K100,000.
With such information at hand its easy to have a slightly accurate prediction and just yesterday me and Bwezani Mbewe made seperate predictions on how the 2018 season will pan out and the positions each team will occupy.
While me and Bwezani did not consult each other one funny thing is that we picked the same top 4 and Bottom 4 and the only difference was in the order.
One thing is that the Zambian Super League is very easy to predict who will challenge for the league and even win it.
Last year I said Zesco United and Zanaco would be in the top 4 and was only wrong on Lusaka Dynamos and Buildcon and LD ended in fifth place. The bottom four I predicted three out of the four teams right.
What is making it easy to predict is to a very large extent the Transfer Activity and noting which team is bringing in which player to strengthen them and in which positions.
ZANACO have been the best this year and have really been impressive and set a high standard similar to what the likes of Al Ahly, Mamelodi Sundowns, Zamalek are doing because they are signing players 6 months to a year in advance.
ZESCO United have not been as impressive this year but again they did the transfer business in June/July 2017 and just added a few players in 2018.
Buildcon FC and Lusaka Dynamos for new projects have done extremely well and they have almost reached the same level of Zesco United and Zanaco and have a deep understanding of the transfer market both in Zambia and across Africa and know what exactly is happening and who is available and who isnt and they have brought in a lot of good players.
Nkana FC have had to play catchup and one thing that’s noted is that Nkana is not the destination of choice for most Zambian players anymore and so is Power Dynamos and these two Zambian Giants need to see how badly they have fallen of.
Red Arrows are a notable mention and while they dont have the resources like the top clubs this year they have been clever in identifying players and inviting them for trials rather than the open door policy some other clubs have of opening trials to anyone.
Reaching the Group stage of CAF Competition and beyond will also help increase the gap between the top and bottom teams as teams like Zanaco and Zesco United are already beginning to have more finances than the rest and we are already seeing it as Zanaco have spent more on players this year. Buying Maisha Chavda from TP Mazembe and the many other players is not cheap and they have more resources now to invest wisely.
Over the next 5 years we shall start seeing the likes of Zesco United, Zanaco pulling away and if Buildcon and Lusaka Dynamos also reach continental football we shall see them doing the same as well as Nkana.
Other clubs now will have to realise this threat and react accordingly.
Otherwise we have entered into a VERY INTERESTING PHASE in Zambian Football.