While Central and Northern regions have already identified champions and elite league representatives, title contention is still wide open in the Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Premier League with at least eight teams eyeing the ultimate glory.
After last weekend’s games, Ntopwa FC, who beat Chikwawa United 3-2 on Sunday, still leads the 22-team log-table with 77 points from 35 games. They have 98 as their maximum points if they win their remaining seven matches.
However, second-placed Hangover (73 points) and third-positioned Cobbe Barracks (72 points) can still catch up as they have played the same number of games and their maximum points are 94 and 93, respectively.
Fourth-placed Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves, who triumphed 3-1 over Steffords, also hold the prospects alongside fifth-positioned MDF Marine, sixth-placed Be Forward Wanderers Reserves, eighth-positioned Mangochi United and ninth-placed Changalume Barracks.
Bullets have 102 as maximum points, Marine 93, Wanderers Reserves 81, Mangochi 89. Nanzikambe, who are seventh on the ladder, cannot compete for the title as the farthest they can go is having 74 points.
“At present, it is too early to predict the eventual champions of the league, which has so far been very competitive as compared to last season,” said SRFA general secretary Kingsley Simbeye.
Ntopwa FC owner Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman yesterday admitted they are not in the comfort zone although they have created a four-point gap at the summit of the table against second-placed Cobbe.
“We are just keeping our fingers crossed that we will emerge as eventual champions. Otherwise, the title-chase is very tough and exhausting. Meanwhile, our focus is on winning all our remaining games,” he said.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya said although earning a Super League promotion is not their priority but developing their talent for the main team, they expect their reserve side to take the ultimate glory to prove their mettle.
The Chipiku Stores Central Region Football Association (CRFA) Premier League already identified Mlatho Mponela as their champions a few weeks ago while the Simama and Sons (Simso) Northern Region Football Association (NRFA) Premier League has Chitipa United.