THE NKANA RED DEVILS SQUAD OF THE LATE 80’S AND EARLY 90’S
Popularly called “Kalampa”, this was the most complete team squad that Zambia has ever produced. Coached by the late Moses Simwala, it comprised of the likes of, Malitoli brothers (Kenneth and Mordon), Reuben “Kamanga” Sakala, late Kapambwe “Gentile” Mulenga, Golden Kazika, Godfrey Muselepete, Gibby Mbasela and Beston Chambeshi. This squad still holds the record of winning the most Zambian Super League titles: 11 titles in the 1980/90s. Their achievement made Nkana Stadium the Mecca of club football in Zambia. They reached finals of the champions once and contested the semi –finals several times. They were among the five top clubs in Africa for a while.
THE POWER DYNAMOS SQUAD OF EARLY 90’S
Under the guidance of Freddie Mwila Snr, the “Power 90” squad which included likes of Wisdom Chansa, Robert Watyakeni, Aggrey Chiyangi, Linos Makwaza, John Soko, Wedson Nyirenda and Kenan Simambe. This squad won at least two of Power Dynamos’ six league titles. However, their most important achievement was winning the continental Mandela Cup (Previously the African Cup Winners Cup) of 1991. To date, they are the only Zambian team squad with a continental trophy to their credit. Moreover, they are the only team that has not been demoted from the Super League before.
THE MIGHTY MUFULIRA WANDERERS OF THE 1970S AND 1980S.
The Mufulira Wanderers squad of the 1970/1980 was legendary for their never-give-up mentality which earned them numerous and sensational victories late into the game, sometimes in injury time. That is how the saying “Mighty iwina ichungulo” (Mighty win in the evening) was born. It was made up the big names like the Nkole brothers-Abraham and Patrick, Ackim Musenge, Thomas”Castella” Bwalya, Willie Mukwasa and Brines Mulenga. This squad won five league titles in the 1970s. In 1975, they were eliminated from the continental championship by Simba FC who beat them 5-0 at Independence Stadium, after they had won the first leg by 4-0 a fortnight earlier. Many believe that they have never able to recapture their Mightiness since that day.
THE GREEN BUFFALOES SQUAD OF THE 1970S/1980S
The Green Buffaloes team of the 1970/80s sternly tested the dominance of the mine sponsored teams on the Copperbelt. Built on military discipline, the squad revolved around likes of Jani Simulambo, Kapela Katumba, Pele Kaimana, Milton Muke, Patrick Banda, Jack Simbule, Francis Kajiya (Mbesuma’s dad) and Obby Kapita. They recruited extensively from the defunct Zambian National Service program. They won at least two league titles but achieved mixed results on the continental scene, reaching the quarter final twice. Like any other Zambian teams, they stumbled against West and North African opposition.
THE KABWE WARRIORS SQUAD OF THE LATE1980/EARLY 1990S.
During the late1980/early 1990s, the late “Ucar” Godfrey Chitalu assembled a young and attack-minded squad which competed favourably the cream of Zambian club football. The team was made of up exciting players like Timothy Mwitwa, Samuel Chomba, Whiteson Changwe, Richard Mwanza, Tennant Chilumba, Gaultier Kituka, Jolly Chambisha, Mathews Kasoka, Thomas Masekwa and Douglas Mwamba. Most of these players came through the ranks at Railways Ground. They won two league title and several cup competitions in the 1970s. They were known as legendary cup fighters who often overcame the bigger names during cup competitions.
THE ZESCO UNITED SQUAD OF RECENT YEARS 2007-2010
Following the privatization of the copper mines in the early 1990s, soccer prowess shifted from the Copperbelt to Lusaka. In the late 1990s, Zesco United emerged as one of the teams to fill the void left mine sponsored teams. Their squad was made up of players like Jonas Sakuwaha, Enock Sakala, Rodgers Kamwandi, William Chinyama, Nyambe Mulenga and Clifford Chipalo. Zesco United have three Zambian league titles and are first and only Zambian team to reach the group stage of the current format of the Africa Club Champions League.
THE NCHANGA RANGERS SQUAD OF THE 1970S/1980S
The “Brave” Nchanga Rangers squad of the 1970s/80s were constant factor in deciding the Zambian league title year after year. The squad revolved around stars like the late Willie Phiri, Moffat Mutambo, Joesph Mukwangu, Jim Salim, Patrick Nkhata, Philemon Mbewe, Joseph “Little Joe” Musonda, Anthony Bwali, Dave Sunday, John Kaunda, Samuel Chipungu and George Mofya. Rangers won the league title in 1980. They ventured into continental football twice with little success. This squad was well known for its entertaining brand of soccer and its ability to beat any of the big teams. If only they were more consistent.
THE SENSATIONAL ZANACO SQUAD OF THE PAST DECADE
The ZANACO squad of the past decade (2000-2010) has been one the most dominant teams in recent years. Taking the mantel after the collapse of the mine sponsored teams; the squad was made up of players like Kabamba Kalande, Numba Mumamba, Kelvin Kaindu, Edward Kangwa, and George Kolala, chaswe Nsofwa, Kennedy Nketani and Cosmas Banda. Sensational Zanaco won five league titles but their attempts on the continental level have been unsatisfactory as they have failed to reach the group stage of the continental competition. Many people think that they performed way below their capacity and expectation.
THE POWER DYNAMOS OF THE 1970S/1980S
Referred to as a “baby born with teeth” Power Dynamos blazed through the lower tiers of football under the guidance of the late Arthur Davies. Through an aggressive, and sometimes controversial, acquisition policy they assembled a formidable team which included the likes of Alex Chola, Peter Kaumba, Michael Musonda, Ken Mwape, Edwin Katongo, Chris Mtonga, Abel “Shaft” Mweleshi, Stafford Mutalama, Bizwell Phiri and Thomas Kasanya. Later on they added Lucky Msiska, Wisdom Chansa, Bonny Muma, Boyd Chilembo and Happy Simfukwe. They once reached in the final of Cup Winners’ competition (Now called Mandela Cup). They also won the Rothmans and Pall Mall continental which was organized as a one-time tournament for big teams in Africa.
MIGHTY MUFULIRA WANDERERS SQUAD OF LATE 1980/1990S.
After the Simba debacle of 1975, Mighty began sliding down the ladder of club football in Zambia until the mid- 1980s, when “Zoom” started a rejuvenation. The team produced a galaxy of stars including the Bwalya brothers (Benjamin and Kalusha), Charles Musonda, Efford Chabala, Johnson Bwalya, Ashious Melu, Philemon Kaunda, Philemon Mulala, Joel Bwalya, Emmanuel Munaile and Joseph Ngupeni. In those days, Shinde Stadium was the Soccer Skills capital of Zambian soccer. This team did not win any league title but the excitement created by glamor and flair of Kalu, Charly and Johnson generated echoes throughout the nation. As the key players headed to Europe in the mid-1980s, the squad’s competitiveness stagnated.
THE KABWE WARRIOR SQUAD OF THE 1970/80S
The Warriors squad of the 1970s/early 1908s was a permanent feature of the elite of Zambian soccer. It consisted of the likes of Boniface Simutowe, Sandy Kaposa and later on, Ucar Godfrey Chitalu, Gibby Zulu, Philip Tembo Clement “Soweto” Banda and Stanley Tembo. It is with this club that Ucar set the record of scoring 107 goals in a season. This team won a couple of league titles and provided formidable opposition to the dominant Mufulira Wanderers and Rhokana United in those days.
THE RED ARROWS OF THE 1980S
Following the success of the army team, Green Buffaloes, the Zambia Airforce formed their team called Red Arrows. Their 1980s squad was very much in competition for the Zambian league title. It consisted of players like Fanny Hangunyu, Johnstone Katowando, Bernard “Tools and Hardware” Mutale, Hector Chisompola, John Zyambo, Patrick Phiri, System Chilongo, Aaron Njovu, Martin Besa and Ghost Mulenga. Most of the players in this were locally assembled. Red Arrows won the Zambian super league title at least once in the 1980s.
THE RHOKANA UNITED (NKANA RED DEVILS) SQUAD OF THE 1970S/EARLY 80S
The Rhokana United squad of the 1970s and early 1980s was very popular for their exciting brand of football. The squad comprised of stars like Moses Simwala, Bernard “Bomber” Chanda, Brighton Sinyangwe, Emmanuel Mwape, Nelson Sapi, John “Combs” Kalenga, Jeff Mason, Henry Kalimukwa, James Jengela, Ackim Mulamata and Mark Masumbuko. This team was largely made up of locally acquired talent and the youth development system. In spite of their huge following, the Rhokana United of the 1970s did not win any league title.