Clubs that ended the season fruitlessly have unveiled strategies to restore their lost glories; Silver Strikers is currently in massive recruitment drive while Epac has set high transfer fees for its players to discourage poachers.
Meanwhile, Be Forward Wanderers plan to replace underperforming players this month while Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets have said they are not intimidated by their rival’s rebuilding.
Eight time Super League champions Silver’s coach Young Chimodzi said it was disappointing to end the season trophyless while disclosing that they have already started preparations for next season.
He said throughout this week the club has been conducting trials for players that have voluntarily been availing themselves at Silver Stadium.
“Rather than always buying lots of players from fellow Super League teams, we believe we can find raw talent through this initiative,” the experienced coach said.
Chimodzi said, though the exercise is still ongoing, they have already identified some players who he believes will be helpful to the team.
On his part, Epac sponsor Dini Josaya Banda says they struggled in the just ended season because top clubs poached most of their key players among them, Bullets striker Jaffalie Chande.
To wade off poachers, Josaya Banda has set a minimum transfer fee of K3 million (about $4 582) on any of his players. Few local clubs buy players at that high fee.
“We don’t want our team to be destabilised by clubs that have an appetite for other teams’ players. If they can’t pay a minimum fee which we have set, then they should forget, signing our players,” he said.
Josaya Banda has, meanwhile, unveiled plans to beef up his squad with players from the recently relegated teams Dedza Young Soccer and Fisd Wizards.
Bullets, Silver and Wanderers are targeting four Wizards players Brightone Munthali, Levison Maganizo, Rafique Namwera and Ernest Tambe. Ironically, the same players are also being targeted by their rivals Bullets and Silver. The Nomads are also reportedly eyeing Chisomo Mpachika of Dedza.
Meanwhile, Wanderers technical director Jack Chamangwana said the club is expected to lay off some players this month end to pave the way for new recruits.
He said the players to be axed or roped in will be identified at a meeting the technical panel is planning to hold next week.
“We are targeting the Super League title next season. We believe that early preparations are needed to fulfil this dream. This is why we want to organise our squad early,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bullets has said it is not losing sleep over their rivals rebuilding stating they are geared to retain the title next season.
Its chairperson Samuel Chilunga said there will not be massive changes to their squad despite signing a multi-million kwacha sponsorship deal with Nyasa Manufacturing Company.
“The cohesion is already there in this team so we are not making drastic changes,” he said. “We believe this team is capable of retaining the title.”
The 2016/17 season is expected to kick-off in April with Dwangwa United, Chilumba Barracks and Max Bullets joining the Super League fold after earning promotion from regional leagues. n