KICKOFF with Darious Kapembwa: Go Boys Falter and Cry

AT a time when Zambian club football was celebrating the progress of Nkana and Zesco United in the CAF Confederation Cup, their celebration was punctuated by the unexpected news of Bilton Musonda’s sacking as Green Buffaloes coach after close to two years at the helm.

To some Facebook and pedestrian soccer analysts, it was the right thing to do while to those unconcerned, it was just business as usual.

But those of us who visit training grounds and follow these teams on their assignments week in-week-out know that Bilton is one of brightest tactical brains of his generation, rising up in the game alongside the likes of Mumamba Numba, Kelvin Kaindu, Zeddy Saileti, Tenant Chembo, Tenant Chilumba etc.

Clearly, the firing of Musonda has nothing to do with improving football or results at Buffaloes and therefore, the command or is it the hierarchy at the army club must do thorough soul-searching.

For those that want to know why I am putting up such an argument, here is why.

After celebrated coach Wedson Nyirenda was given the marching orders in 2015, Musonda picked up the reins and delivered the Barclays Cup title against all odds.

Under Bilton, Buffaloes twice qualified to the CAF Confederation Cup with very limited resources at his disposal.

The reason Nkana and Zesco are performing well at a big stage is because they have depth in both human and financial resources, which is not the case at Buffaloes.

But regardless of that sad reality, Bilton dug deep, utilised his experience both as a player and coach, flexed his tactical muscles to propel his team into the top four brackets of the 20-team Super League for two consecutive seasons – quite an achievement, if you ask me.

Eliminated at the preliminary stages of continental football in February last year, Musonda improved and reached the first round last December with virtually the same team.

We know that every club wants to win things, but did the generals expect their humble foot soldier to win the Confederation Cup with the limited ammunition at his disposal?

How much investment has management poured into the team to warrant such appetite for trophies?

How much in allowances and salaries does GBFC pay its players in comparison to competitors such as Zesco United, Nkana and Zanaco or even CS Faxien of Tunisia who eliminated them in the latest Confederation Cup? How have been their preparations? Were players paid or even paid on time?

I ask these questions because these were internal undertones that underpinned GBFC’s build-up to their CAF assignments.

Well, there is need for self-introspection among club administrators because many a time innocent coaches have been sacrificed to hide administrators’ incompetence. Which brings me to the next item:

Fraud in the bank

Mumamba Numba has been given a three-match ultimatum before the season kicks off. What insult is that, surely Zanaco? Really! Numba of all people? Good luck with your ultimatum.

The Prison Leopards, a team that won promotion to the Super League via a late boardroom decision has given coach Frank Miti a five-game ultimatum before the season starts. Well Leopards wait until you get confined back to that prison cage then you shall know what it is to respect the ‘law’ of the game.

I hear Charles Bwale has taken over from Bilton. I hope Charles has been given the required weapons to satisfy his lieutenants. See you at kick off when the season starts this weekend. We await to see if it shall still be Go Boys Fight and Conquer or otherwise.


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